Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Minnesota Personal Injury Lawyer: Tinnitus

ear-injury-1 Minnesota Personal Injury Lawyer: TinnitusThere are approximately 2 million people, in the U.S., who suffer from tinnitus and have applied for disability based on tinnitus alone; some due to airbags deploying. Many people find it debilitating because it is hard to sleep, concentrate, read, or interact with people. Some people even suffer clinical depression as a result of tinnitus. Each person has their own tolerance level.

What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the presence of sound in the head when no external sound is present. Tinnitus can be discontinuous or perpetual, in one ear or both ears. The volume can range from low, annoying tones to high-intensity, disabling noises.

A basic part of hearing is facilitated by the delicate, hair cells in your inner ear called cilia. They are positioned at the turns in the snail-shaped cochlea. The cilia at each turn of the cochlea transmits a separate level of frequency. The cilia move in relation to the pressure of the sound waves, sending electrical signals to the brain. When the cilia get damaged from an airbag deployment, it usually damages all of the hair cells at one turn of the cochlea — so, one entire range of sound is no longer heard.ear-diagram-2 Minnesota Personal Injury Lawyer: Tinnitus

Instead of creating total deafness, the brain becomes confused by the silence in that range and creates its own noises. The noises are generally described as ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, whistling, or hissing.

Tinnitus Sounds MP3 Downloads

Tinnitus Buzzing (MP3)
Tinnitis Roaring (MP3)
Tinnitis Static (MP3)

Sound Levels

Sound is measured in decibels (dB). They recommend earplugs for 85 decibels and above. Here are a list of noises and their decibels:

  • ticking watch – 20 dB
  • refrigerator hum – 40 dB
  • sewing machine – 60 dB
  • rush hour traffic – 90 dB
  • blow dryer – 100 dB
  • rock concert and thunder – 120 dB
  • jackhammer – 130 dB

Complications from Tinnitus

Tinnitus can severely effect the quality of life in these areas:

  • Sleep disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Lack of concentration
  • Memory issues
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression

Tinnitus Management

There is no cure for tinnitus. Once cilia have been damaged or destroyed they are gone forever. If you have been diagnosed with tinnitus, you will have to learn to manage the frequency and intensity of episodes. People have tried different things to minimize the effects or lessen the severity of tinnitus, including:

  • drug therapy
  • vitamin therapy
  • biofeedback
  • hypnosis
  • electrical stimulation
  • relaxation therapy
  • counseling
  • tinnitus maskers

Tinnitus maskers are similar to a hearing aid and produce sounds to mask the tinnitus sound. The masking sound works as a distractor, for some people, to minimize the tinnitus sound and make it more tolerable. People tend to prefer an exterior sound over the interior sound of tinnitus. If you suffer from hearing loss, the masker and hearing aid can be combined and work together.

Another way to minimize the tinnitus, is to have a background noise going at all times. Sound machines are available. Other options are:

  • fish tank with pump
  • fan
  • indoor waterfall
  • low-volume music

It may also be helpful to join a self-help group. They offers strategies, encouragement, and hope.

This information is a service of TSR Injury Law. We have argued and won many cases of tinnitus. We know how debilitating this condition can be. Our partners will work on your behalf to validate your injury to the insurance company. Steve Terry, Chuck Slane, and Rich Ruohonen are skilled, aggressive litigators with years of experience in personal injury cases, including car accidents, truck accidents, and traumatic brain injury. Our attorneys have been named Super Lawyers by Minnesota Law & Politics. Call 612-362-0000 or submit our contact form.

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