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Vehicle Accident Can Cause Tinnitus

Personal Injury Lawyers in Chicago, IL

Tinnitus may not be a serious or life-threatening condition, but it is certainly distressing and can affect a person’s quality of life.

Traumatic brain injuries following a car accident can cause a variety of symptoms including tinnitus. Many victims of car accidents suffer hearing loss from a head injury and in some cases, a deployed airbag causes an inner ear injury.

WebMD defines tinnitus as “a common condition characterized by the sensation of sound for which there is no external source outside the individual. In other words, people with tinnitus perceive sound when no environmental or external sounds are present. These sounds have been described as clicking, buzzing, and/or ringing.” The condition is more commonly known as ringing in the ears.

What is Tinnitus?

We all have experienced tinnitus at one time or the other, even in the absence of any underlying disease or medical condition. When not associated with a pathological condition, tinnitus is generally transient, and in most cases, no cause can be identified. Taking too much aspirin is also known to cause temporary tinnitus. However, in some cases, tinnitus persists, and in the absence of adequate treatment options, most patients have to learn to live with it. Sometimes, doctors use a masking device to cover the tinnitus with white noise to reduce the perception of ringing noise.

Tinnitus is usually a result of an abnormality in the middle or inner ear. It has been seen that tinnitus is extremely common in individuals who have sustained a closed head injury. The patient may even experience some deafness in the side of the head from which the ringing noise arises. There are no diagnostic procedures available to detect tinnitus, but there are audiometric tests to detect any associated deafness.

Hearing loss at 4,000 Hz or more indicates that the hearing loss has been caused by a sensorineural abnormality. When tinnitus and deafness are related, it could be a sign of a lesion on the cochleovestibular nerve or of the receptor organ or cochlea.

In the case of a head injury, the pathogenic mechanism can be a fracture in the basal area of the skull close to the hearing balance receptor system. If no fracture is observed, the cause of tinnitus may remain unknown. In some cases, tinnitus could also be a sign of psychiatric disturbance, particularly depression, which is common among victims of serious car accidents.

Tinnitus may not be a serious or life-threatening condition, but it is certainly distressing and can affect a person’s quality of life in ways more than one. Tinnitus can be disabling and the patient may find it difficult to attend to conversation, concentrate and even enjoy music. Patients of tinnitus tend to become exhausted as a result of this constant ringing noise in the ears.

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