Tinnitus reaches feverish pitch among children

Bengaluru: Prolonged exposure to loud noise, stress, physical illness and use of earphones for long durations is making children vulnerable to tinnitus disorder, say city doctors.

They claimed these days there has been a sharp rise in the number of children complaining of tinnitus an ear disorder that leads to a sensation of hearing a sound, when no external sound is present. Those affected feel constant ringing or hissing sound in their ears.

It is associated with changes in certain networks in the brain, which keeps the brain constantly active with little rest.

Dr Santosh S., Consultant ENT, Columbia Asia Hospital, Hebbal, said, “Tinnitus can be extremely disturbing for the affected people.” He pointed out that in children tinnitus is basically cased due to the middle ear infection, when the child is suffering with cough and cold. The infection within may lead to tinnitus.

“Children shouldn’t be exposed to loud noise. Usage of earphones is another cause these days and other neurological problems like tumours or blood vessel related problems if not given immediate medical attention would lead to tinnitus,” Dr Santosh added.

According to NeuroImage journal, Clinical those suffering from tinnitus may find it difficult to concentrate as their attention may be distracted towards their tinnitus, and that may lessen their attention to other things.

“Tinnitus is invisible and it can’t be measured by any devices. It is very common and is reported in all age groups, even young children. Tinnitus is more common in people who have hearing loss or other ear problems, but it can also be found in people with normal hearing,” said Dr Honey Ashok, Senior Consultant-ENT, Head Neck Surgery & Head Neck Onco Surgery at Sakra World Hospital.

A new study suggests that a sound-emitting device worn in the ear during sleep may train the brain to ignore chronic ringing in the ears.

As for prevention, Dr Prateek Nayak, Consultant – ENT Surgery, Aster CMI Hospital said one should avoid exposure to extra loud sounds and music and use earphones for longer hours than advised and recommended.

“If diagnosed and treated early there are chances of getting rid of the disorder altogether, but if ignored tinnitus can stay with you forever, affecting your daily life,” he added.

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