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star trek episode
carotid arteries
ringing in the ears
definitive diagnosis
sensitive hearing
unusual sounds
loud noise
Ringing In The New Year With Ringing In The Ears?
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Aside from perhaps a sore head, did you wake up with ringing in the ears after THAT New Year's Eve party?

Maybe you're putting it down to the fact that the music was a little loud...but now, days later, are you still hearing a high-pitched whine or other unusual sounds in one or both ears?

If so, you might be suffering from tinnitus. In some cases, it goes away on its own. But for more than 10 per cent of the population - 35 million Americans alone - tinnitus is an unwelcome ailment that just won't go away without some serious intervention.

Tinnitus is often the result of exposure to loud noise that damages the sensitive hearing mechanism. So, if you were standing too close to the band's amplifiers at a concert or party, you might well have tinnitus as a result. Other causes include a sudden loud sound like a door slamming right next to you, or even an explosion that sends damaging shockwaves into the ear. That's exactly what happened to actor William Shatner when he stood too close to a special effects explosion during filming of a Star Trek episode more than 40 years ago. He's lived with tinnitus ever since.

Now, before we jump to conclusions about the mysterious sounds you might be hearing and just assume that you do indeed have tinnitus, you should see your physician or go to a professional hearing center for a definitive diagnosis. This is very important because the sudden onset of some unexplained sounds in the ears can, in isolated cases, indicate a serious health problem.

For example, an sudden aneurysm or a balloon-like bulge in the carotid arteries that run down either side of the neck can also cause a sound in the nearby ears as the blood flows through. This is a life-threatening condition requiring surgery. Another possibility is gradual fatty buildups inside these same arteries that force the blood to flow through an ever-narrower space - sometimes creating a sound the patient hears in their ears. Again, this might require surgery or blood thinning drugs.

So get that sound checked out!

Now, if the diagnosis is tinnitus or the closely related Meniere's Disease, the good news is that though this is a chronic condition, it is NOT life-threatening. However, though you might grow to accept the ringing, popping or cracking sounds you hear - and might even be able to blank them out some of the time - you might well also suffer some permanent hearing loss.

That's my fate - I have Meniere's Disease, a form of tinnitus that has resulted in noticeable hearing loss in my right ear and occasional bouts of giddiness due to inner ear fluid balance issues.

There are many medical and natural products available to mitigate the impact of tinnitus and some patients have achieved a complete cure. Learn more about tinnitus and Meniere's Disease: go to Natural Treatment For Tinnitus.

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