Recovering from a serious head injury can be hard enough without you hearing noises no one else can hear. Before you start to believe you are losing your mind, you should know the sounds you are hearing are often nothing out of the ordinary after head injuries. The noises you hear may be caused by a condition called somatic tinnitus, a common side effect experienced by people suffering with a head or neck injury. Check out more information on this condition and how you can make dealing with the sounds of somatic tinnitus easier.

The Biggest, The Baddest And The Loudest

For reasons unknown as of yet, somatic tinnitus produces the loudest sounds of any type of tinnitus. Somatic tinnitus is also the worst for causing other, more painful symptoms such as severe headaches. Most medical experts agree somatic tinnitus is primarily caused by changes to the 8th cranial nerve. The 8th cranial nerve is responsible for auditory messages reaching the brain. Trauma to the jaw bone or the temporomandibular joint in the jaw have also been found to play a role in somatic tinnitus as well. If you have suffered an injury from the neck up and you are hearing sounds, you may have accompanying symptoms in addition to headaches that include:

  • Depression

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Memory loss

  • Dizziness

Most patients suffering with head trauma are given strong pain medications. However, some pain medications have been found to carry tinnitus as a side effect. If you have noticed loud sounds in your ears since taking a certain medication, tell your doctor so he or she can change it. By doing so, you can see if it is the medications causing the noises or just your injury.

Dealing With The Sounds You Hear

Your physician may recommend you playing low "white noise" in the background. Masking devices are available for tinnitus suffers that play sounds like ocean waves crashing onto the shore or they may play nights sounds like crickets chirping and frogs croaking. Masking devices have been effective in helping tinnitus sufferers sleep through the noises coming from inside their head. Training your brain not to hear the sounds works and can help you deal with the noises until they stop on their own.

Tinnitus gives the old adage "walking to the beat of your own drum" a whole new meaning. It is important to talk to a doctor or specialist, like those at RI ENT Physicians Inc DBA Hearing Centers of RI, if you are hearing sounds no one else can hear. Dealing with a head injury is tough, but by following your doctor's instructions closely, you can heal faster and be relieved of the sounds your own drum is constantly making.