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Cervical tinnitus

How neck problems can cause ringing in the ears

How neck problems can cause ringing in the ear & how they can be treated

In this article, discover how neck problems are related to tinnitus or a ringing in the ears. If you are experiencing ringing or other noises in one or both of your ears, visit a tinnitus specialist at Amplifon for a consultation to find the best possible tinnitus treatment option for you.

Can neck problems cause ringing in the ears?

Yes, it can. Also known as cervical tinnitus, whistles and ringing perceived in the ear in conjunction with the emergence of cervical pain and neck problems.

Connection between tensions in the neck & tinnitus

It is common for patients to experience tinnitus together with neck tensions as a result of an incorrect posture, lifting heavy loads or sudden twisting movements. This tension in the cervical spine can affect the function of the cranial nerves and trigger a ringing in the ears.

The ringing in the ears is often caused by the tension of active muscles in the cervical spine (Musculus splenio capitis and Musculus semispinalis capitis) pressing on nerves. When this occurs, the nerve groups responsible for hearing (cochlear nucleus or "snail nucleus") send signals to the brain and the brain reacts to this overstimulation of the nerve groups with hyperactivity, which can trigger the tinnitus. These symptoms can also be accompanied by a feeling of dizziness.

Another explanation for neck tensions and tinnitus could be due to poor circulation to the cranial nerves as result of a muscle tension which constricts the blood vessels responsible for supplying blood to the cranial nerve.

Can a tight neck cause pulsatile tinnitus?

Pulsatile tinnitus can also be caused by muscle tensions and occurs when large blood vessels, such as the carotid artery, are constricted.

Pulse synchronous tinnitus or pulsatile tinnitus is a rhythmic pulsing noise in one or both ears that tends to be in sync with a person's hearbeat. It often occurs in the absence of external sound and it is generally caused by abnormalities or disorders affecting the blood flow in the blood vessels.

The most common symptom of pulse synchronous tinnitus is: 

- Constant throbbing or noise

- Throbbing is often synchronised with the patient's heartbeat. If the patient's heartbeat speeds up, the thumping or murmuring will also speed up; if it slows down, the speed of the thumping or murmuring will also decrease.

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Treatments for cervical tinnitus

According to medical research, there has always been a connection between distortions and traumas affecting the head and neck and tinnitus. The best way to find out the root cause of tinnitus is by visiting a specialist that can examine your hearing and determine what type of tinnitus is present and how it can best be treated. However, there are a number of treatements that can be done at home that can ease these symptoms. 

Neck exercises for tinnitus

To help tinnitus subside, special neck exercises and appropriate physiotherapy can be performed to relieve tension in the ear and help keep the muscles relaxed. However, we recommend discussing the exact details of your symptoms with a specialist or with your family doctor to find the best treatment.

Neck massages against tinnitus

Ohysiotherapy and trigger points massages on the neck can help reduce stress and accumulated tension by relieving the tension on the muscles and reducing the pressure on certain nerves of the cervical spine. However, before taking matters into your own hands, it is best to consult an expert first, as the wrong exercises could make the symptoms even worse.

Sound enrichment therapy

Tinnitus caused by neck tension or objective tinnitus generally subsides once the underlying cause has been identified and treated. Sound-enrichment aids can be used to bridge this transitional phase. 

Sound enrichment therapy helps to reduce the volume of the tinnitus by stimulating the hearing steadily and emiting nature-based sounds, such as the sound of a stream or waterfall or the sound of rain, as continuously as possible. In some cases, they can even make the ringing in the ears disappear completely.

Another treatment option is a tinnitus masker, an electronic hearing aid device that generates and emits broad-band or narrow-band noise at low levels. These hearing aids produce a sound that acoustically masks the sound of the tinnitus. Discover Amplifon's product range of hearing aids and get advice, how such a hearing aid could help in your case.

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Are you experiencing ringing in your ears? Then come to one of Amplifon's clinics in Australia and receive advice by one of our tinnitus specialists. We will support you in choosing the best treatment method for your individual case. 

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