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Head trauma can cause various issues, including concussions and post-concussive syndrome. But can tinnitus be caused by trauma to the head?

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is hearing a sound inside your head with no external source. Most commonly described as a ringing sound, it can also sound like buzzing, whistling, humming, chirping, or hissing. The noise can vary in loudness and be intermittent or continual. The sound is often worse when background noise is low, and many sufferers are most aware of it when trying to fall asleep in a quiet room. 

Tinnitus and Head Trauma

While not all cases of tinnitus are caused by head trauma, it is one of its potential causes. Head trauma, ranging from a mild concussion to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), can lead to auditory complications, including tinnitus. The connection involves the various structures that are involved in hearing and how trauma can impact them. For example, a direct blow to the head can cause damage to the delicate structures of the inner ear or disrupt the auditory pathways in the brain.

In cases of head trauma, the cochlea, a spiral-shaped structure in the inner ear that is responsible for detecting sound vibrations, can be damaged. This damage can occur because of the force of the impact or as a result of the inner ear structures being displaced or injured by the trauma. This kind of damage can lead to the perception of the phantom sounds that are described in cases of tinnitus. 

Head trauma can also result in injuries to the auditory nerves or the auditory processing centers in the brain. Even if the structures of the inner ear remain intact, damage to these neural pathways can still produce symptoms of tinnitus. The brain’s attempt to compensate for the injury or to interpret abnormal signals from the auditory system can present as persistent ringing or buzzing sensations. 

The severity and persistence of tinnitus following head trauma can vary widely from person to person. Some may only experience temporary symptoms that resolve as the injury heals, and others may develop chronic tinnitus that persists long after the initial trauma. The severity and length of symptoms can be influenced by various factors, including the extent of the injury and any pre-existing conditions that may have been present prior to the injury. 

Diagnosing and Treating Tinnitus

Diagnosing a case of tinnitus caused by head trauma typically involves a thorough medical evaluation, including a detailed history of the injury, a physical examination, and various diagnostic tests. Those tests can include audiometric evaluations, imaging studies such as an MRI or CT scan to see any structural damage, and an assessment of auditory processing in the brain. 

Treatment for tinnitus resulting from head trauma typically focuses on managing symptoms and addressing underlying factors that are contributing to the conditions. These may include:

  • Sound therapy
  • Counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Medications
  • Neuromodulation
  • Cochlear implants
  • Auditory nerve stimulation

Contact a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer

Prompt recognition and appropriate treatment of tinnitus are crucial to ensuring recovery and preventing potential complications. Anyone who suffers head trauma should seek medical attention.

Seeking legal advice is also essential for anyone who is suffering from tinnitus after head trauma. You may be entitled to bring a personal injury claim against the responsible party. 

Our legal team has more than 40 years of experience seeking justice for accident victims. Our attorneys have sought and won millions of dollars for our injured clients. Don’t allow your health or legal rights to go unaddressed after an accident. 

Call 850-601-1111 to schedule a complimentary consultation with no obligations. This consultation will help you explore your legal options. Let us help you fight for fair compensation.

Author Photo

Mark continued his studies at Florida State University College of Law, graduating cum laude in 2008. While in law school, Mark was a member of the Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law and the Journal of Transnational Law & Policy, as well as a certified legal intern with the FSU Public Interest Law Center, where he assisted low-income clients with a wide range of family law issues. He also served as a law clerk intern to The Honorable L. Clayton Roberts of Florida’s First District Court of Appeal.

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