Hearcare  INC., & Associates - Sherman & Gainesville, TX

Woman with hands on her head suffering from concussion related tinnitus.

You know that scene in your favorite action movie where something explodes next to the hero and the sound goes all high-pitched-buzzing? Well, guess what: that probably means our hero suffered at least a mild traumatic brain injury!

To be certain, brain injuries aren’t the part that most action movies linger on. But that high-pitched ringing is something known as tinnitus. Usually, hearing loss is the topic of a tinnitus conversation, but traumatic brain injuries can also cause this condition.

Concussions, after all, are one of the more prevalent traumatic brain injuries that happen. And there are quite a few reasons concussions can happen (for instance, falls, sporting accidents, and motor vehicle accidents). It can be somewhat complex sorting out how a concussion can trigger tinnitus. But the good news is that even if you suffer a brain injury that triggers tinnitus, you can normally treat and manage your condition.

Concussions, exactly what are they?

A concussion is brain trauma of a very particular type. Think about it this way: your brain is situated fairly tightly inside your skull (your brain is large, and your skull is there to protect it). The brain will start moving around inside your skull when something shakes your head violently. But because there’s so little additional space in there, your brain could literally smash into the inside of your skull.

This harms your brain! Multiple sides of your skull can be hit by your brain. And this is what causes a concussion. When you visualize this, it makes it easy to see how a concussion is quite literally brain damage. Symptoms of concussions include the following:

  • Slurred speech
  • Ringing in the ears
  • A slow or delayed response to questions
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Blurry vision or dizziness
  • Confusion and loss of memory

This list isn’t complete, but you get the idea. Several weeks to several months is the normal duration of concussion symptoms. When somebody gets one concussion, they will usually make a complete recovery. But, repeated or multiple concussions are a different story (generally, it’s the best idea to avoid these).

How is tinnitus caused by a concussion?

Can a concussion mess with your hearing? Really?

It’s an intriguing question: what is the connection between tinnitus and concussions? After all, concussions aren’t the only brain traumas that can trigger tinnitus symptoms. That ringing in your ears can be activated by even mild brain injuries. Here are a few ways that might take place:

  • Disruption of the Ossicular Chain: There are three tiny bones in your ear that help transfer sounds to your brain. These bones can be knocked out of place by a substantial concussive, impactive event. This can disrupt your ability to hear and cause tinnitus.
  • Damage to your hearing: Enduring an explosion at close range is the cause of concussions and TBIs for many members of the military. And explosions are incredibly loud, the noise and the shock wave can harm the stereocilia in your ear, causing hearing loss and tinnitus. So it isn’t so much that the concussion brought about tinnitus, it’s that the tinnitus and concussion have a common root cause.
  • A “labyrinthine” concussion: When your TBI damages the inner ear this type of concussion happens. This damage can cause inflammation and cause both hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • Nerve damage: There’s also a nerve that is in charge of transmitting sounds you hear to your brain, which a concussion can damage.
  • Disruption of communication: In some cases, the part of your brain that controls hearing can become harmed by a concussion. As a result, the signals sent from the ear to your brain can’t be correctly digested and tinnitus can be the outcome.
  • Meniere’s Syndrome: The development of a condition known as Meniere’s Syndrome can be caused by a TBI. When pressure accumulates in the inner ear this condition can occur. Significant hearing loss and tinnitus can become an issue over time as a result of Menier’s disease.

It’s significant to emphasize that every traumatic brain injury and concussion is a bit different. Personalized care and instructions, from us, will be given to every patient. Certainly, if you think you have suffered a traumatic brain injury or a concussion, you should call us for an evaluation right away.

When you suffer from a concussion and tinnitus is the consequence, how can it be addressed?

Usually, it will be a temporary challenge if tinnitus is the consequence of a concussion. How long does tinnitus linger after a concussion? Well, it may last weeks or months. But, it’s likely that your tinnitus is long lasting if it persists for more than a year. Over time, in these circumstances, treatment plans to manage your condition will be the best plan.

This can be accomplished by:

  • Masking device: This device goes inside your ear a lot like a hearing aid, but it produces specific noises instead of making things louder. Your distinct tinnitus symptoms determine what sound the device will generate helping you ignore the tinnitus sounds and be better able to pay attention to voices and other outside sounds.
  • Hearing aid: Sometimes, tinnitus becomes pronounced because the rest of the world goes into the background (as is the situation with non-TBI-caused hearing loss, everything else becomes quieter, so your tinnitus seems louder). A hearing aid can help turn the volume up on everything else, assuring that your tinnitus fades into the background.
  • Therapy: Sometimes, patients can learn to ignore the sound by undertaking cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). You acknowledge that the noise is there, and then ignore it. It will require some therapy, practice, and time though.

Achieving the expected result will, in some situations, call for additional therapies. Clearing up the tinnitus will often call for treatment to the root concussion. The right course of action will depend on the nature of your concussion and your TBI. As a result, an accurate diagnosis is extremely important in this regard.

Learn what the best plan of treatment might be for you by getting in touch with us.

You can control tinnitus caused by a TBI

A concussion can be a substantial and traumatic event in your life. When you get a concussion, it’s a bad day! And if you have ringing in your ears, you may ask yourself, why do I have ringing in my ears after a car crash?

Tinnitus could emerge instantly or in the days that follow. However, it’s important to remember that tinnitus after a head injury can be managed effectively. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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