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Tinnitus May Drive Some to the Brink of Suicide

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Imagine a ringing in your ears so intense and unrelenting that you become desperate enough to try to kill yourself.

That is a reality for some — women in particular — who suffer from severe tinnitus, new research shows.

The survey of 72,000 Swedish adults found that 9% of women who suffered from severe tinnitus had attempted suicide, as had 5.5% of men.

After analyzing the data, European researchers found that the association between ringing ears and risk for attempted suicide was only significant for women.

“It is important to say that an increased risk of suicide attempts does not mean an increased risk in suicide events,” said lead researcher Christopher Cederroth, from the laboratory of experimental audiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Also, only an association and not a cause-and-effect link was observed.

Cederroth added that he isn’t aware of any completed suicides related to tinnitus.

“Our results reflect more the sex-specific psychological impact of tinnitus rather than a risk of committing suicide,” he said.

On the plus side, Cederroth said that the risk for suicide isn’t significant for people who have had their tinnitus treated.

“Medical attention by a specialist may help decrease tinnitus-related distress,” he said. “Even though there are currently no treatments to get rid of tinnitus, seeing a specialist may help decrease the distress and diminish the risk of suicide attempts.”

Dr. Darius Kohan, director of otology/neurotology at Lenox Hill Hospital and the Manhattan Eye Ear and Throat Hospital in New York City, reviewed the study. He said that although the cause of most tinnitus isn’t known, ways to help people cope with the condition are available.

“Tinnitus can be very severe and debilitating,” Kohan said, noting that it’s a very common condition, affecting about 20% of the population. He isn’t sure why the association between tinnitus and suicide risk appears more serious in women than men. Perhaps it’s just the way the study was done, he said.

“It’s old age and degeneration of the blood supply to the inner ear, plus hearing loss as the nerve cells die off,” said Kohan. In addition, stress, caffeine and aspirin can cause tinnitus, he said.

Continued

Treatment usually involves helping people cope with the condition, Kohan said. Treatments can include cutting out caffeine and aspirin and also taking supplements such as ginkgo biloba or B vitamins.

In addition, patients can use various devices to provide a background sound to mask the ringing in their ears. These can include white noise generators, an air conditioner, or even the TV, Kohan said. This can be especially effective at night when tinnitus can be at its worst.

Other treatments that may work are acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy, Kohan said. Patients can be taught to ignore the sound. Some patients may also need antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, he added.

Richard Tyler, an audiologist and professor in the department of communication sciences and disorders at the University of Iowa, said that most insurance doesn’t cover treatment for tinnitus.

“It certainly is true that many tinnitus sufferers have severe problems with thoughts and emotions, hearing, sleep and concentration,” Tyler said. “Unfortunately, there is no reimbursement to the hearing health care field for counseling and sound therapy. This is a major obstacle.”

The report was published online May 2 in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Christopher Cederroth, Ph.D., laboratory of experimental audiology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Darius Kohan, M.D., director, otology/neurotology, Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan Eye Ear and Throat Hospital, New York City; Richard Tyler, Ph.D., audiologist and professor, department of communication sciences and disorders, University of Iowa, Iowa City; May 2, 2019,JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, online

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Japan Review Check: Star Fox 3DS, More Brink



A selection of the most interesting games due to hit Japan next week, courtesy the review pages of Famitsu magazine:

– Star Fox 64 3D (9/8/8/9, 34 points): Nostalgia ruled the 3DS reviews this week, although this port does have one or two new features. “Being able to carry around Star Fox 64 with you is great,” one reviewer said. “The 3D visuals are effective, and the gyro controls work a lot better than I was expecting.”

“The slide-pad control is easier to use,” another admitted, “but with gyro control you get more a realistic feeling of flight, letting you make precision movement easily.”

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Brink to Offer its DLC Free for Two Weeks

Brink



Brink has faced an uphill battle since release. Regardless of how you feel about its merits as a game, online play — a major attraction for a shooter like Brink — has faced serious issues with lag. A patch was released last month to fix them and another is on the way that will further address those problems, improve bot AI, and tweak weapon balance. As a gift to players, Bethesda has announced that the first downloadable content pack will be made available for free to players for a limited time.

The Agents of Change DLC had been planned for release this month but is now expected to be out in early July. For its first two weeks of availability, it’ll be completely free on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Steam. Anyone who downloads it during that period will have free access to it forever; after that period, those who want to download it will have to pay.

Included in the DLC are two new maps, new player abilities (including napalm grenades and pyro mines), new weapon attachments, and new outfits.

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Brink Lag Issues Being Addressed in Patch Next Week




One of the problems that’s been plaguing Brink is severe lag in multiplayer games. Developer Splash Damage promised it would try to address the problem, and it now says that a forthcoming patch will “improve network performance.”

A post on the Bethesda blog says the update has already been submitted to Microsoft and should be available on Xbox 360 next week. That’s also the targeted date for a patch on PlayStation 3; that version had been held up by the PSN downtime, but the 360’s fixes are being brought to PS3 “quickly and we expect to have it out next week. Stay tuned!”

The PC version isn’t being ignored, either; it will be getting a patch “early next week” that fixes various issues (sound dropping out, graphical performance, character voices resetting) and improves both the server browser and dedicated server. Patch notes will be released alongside the patch itself for those who are interested in the full rundown.

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PC | Brink Review

Greatness is rarely achieved without ambition. Jumping into the battlefields of Brink, you get the immediate sense that you are playing an ambitious first-person shooter. Four interdependent soldier classes and three distinct body types combine to create a diverse array of ways to kill your enemies, support your allies, and move around the battlefield. Brink’s team-based skirmishes are rich with opportunities, but they are also hampered by design issues, including frustrating problems with the movement system and the artificial intelligence. The PC version fares better than the Xbox 360 version when it comes to visuals (providing you have a well-equipped computer) and connectivity (though it’s not all smooth sailing), but it still can’t make good on the game’s ambition. There is definitely some fun to be had in these frenetic firefights, but Brink falls well short of greatness.

For a big guy with a big gun, this engineer sure gets around.

Your Brink experience starts with a choice. As a citizen of the Ark, will you fight to impose order on the floating city that may be humanity’s last refuge in the wake of global disaster? Or do you view the Ark as a prison, where authoritarian forces oppress your people and keep you isolated from the human societies that must still exist on dry land? It’s a dramatic choice, but ultimately it’s a meaningless one. You can play both sides of the campaign no matter which faction you choose, and your loadout, abilities, and stats are persistent regardless of which side you are fighting for. Brink’s online integration means that with the exception of the four Challenge maps, every match you play takes place on one of the eight maps from the campaign. When you start up a match, you can determine what map you play, who can join your game (if anyone), which player ranks are allowed, and whether or not human players are allowed on the enemy team. Setting up a game in freeplay mode enables more customization options, and the server browser lets you easily select a match with a good ping, a particular map, or a sizable population.

Before you get into a match, however, you have the option to watch extensive tutorial videos that familiarize you with the busy battlefields of Brink. Though they drag on for a while, they are full of good information that can help you get your bearings, especially if you are new to objective-focused, class-based combat. You must also create a character using Brink’s stylish customization suite. After choosing from an all-male gallery of quasi-realistic faces, you don either the trim, tough look of the Security forces, or the grimy, ragtag look of the Resistance. You unlock a bunch of cool clothing, hairstyles, and face paint as you level up, and it’s fun to play around with your character’s look as you progress. (Just don’t expect to switch up your tattoos–they’re permanent.)

The lone aspect of character creation that actually affects how you play the game is your body type. Every character begins with a medium body and soon unlocks heavy and light types. Heavy characters have the most health and can carry the biggest guns, but they are also the slowest and least nimble. This makes them well suited to defending key areas or clearing out rooms, but you sometimes have to take the long way around to find a staircase. Light characters have the least health and can carry only small guns, but they are also the fastest and most nimble. They excel at running fluidly around the map and leaping to areas other players cannot reach, while peppering the enemy with gunfire. Medium characters are both nimble and durable, though not to the extent of the other types, and they function as a versatile blend of the other two.

Creating diverse types of movement is one of Brink’s main ambitions, and to a certain degree, it succeeds. Performing a speedy escape or a daring infiltration with a light character is exhilarating, while mowing down a whole enemy squad as a heavy is very satisfying. All characters can sprint, slide, and jump with varying proficiency, and this mobility helps make combat more lively. Slide into an enemy, and you knock him on his back, resulting in a close-quarters firefight that is a neat hybrid of melee combat and gunplay. Simply holding down the shift key while running sends you automatically vaulting over obstacles and clambering up crates, but unfortunately, this movement system is hampered by imperfections. You may take an odd approach angle to a railing and end up running right into it instead of leaping over it. And because there is no clear system to indicate which ledges are surmountable and which aren’t, you have to develop a sense of intuition through trial and error. Brink’s attempt to infuse the action with this free-running movement is intriguing but problematic, delivering both invigoration and frustration.

GameSpot’s Reviews

Xbox 360 | Brink Review

Greatness is rarely achieved without ambition. Jumping into the battlefields of Brink, you get the immediate sense that you are playing an ambitious first-person shooter. Four interdependent soldier classes and three distinct body types combine to create a diverse array of ways to kill your enemies, support your allies, and move around the battlefield. Brink’s team-based skirmishes are rich with opportunities, but they are also plagued with technical problems and design shortcomings. Visual issues and online lag frequently interrupt the fast-paced flow, and problems with the movement system and the artificial intelligence can be downright frustrating. There is definitely some fun to be had in these frenetic firefights, but for all its ambition, Brink falls well short of greatness.

One big dude with one big gun can make one big difference on the battlefield.

Your Brink experience starts with a choice. As a citizen of the Ark, will you fight to impose order on the floating city that may be humanity’s last refuge in the wake of global disaster? Or do you view the Ark as a prison, where authoritarian forces oppress your people and keep you isolated from the human societies that must still exist on dry land? It’s a dramatic choice, but ultimately it’s a meaningless one. You can play both sides of the campaign no matter which faction you choose, and your loadout, abilities, and stats are persistent regardless of which side you are fighting for. Brink’s online integration means that with the exception of the four Challenge maps, every match you play takes place on one of the eight maps from the campaign. When you start up a match, you can determine what map you play, who can join your game (if anyone), which player ranks are allowed, and whether or not human players are allowed on the enemy team. Setting up a game in freeplay mode enables more customization options and increases the likelihood of joining a game with a lot of human players.

Before you get into a match, however, you have the option to watch extensive tutorial videos that familiarize you with the busy battlefields of Brink. Though they drag on for a while, they are full of good information that can help you get your bearings, especially if you are new to objective-focused, class-based combat. You must also create a character using Brink’s stylish customization suite. After choosing from an all-male gallery of quasi-realistic faces, you don either the trim, tough look of the Security forces, or the grimy, ragtag look of the Resistance. You unlock a bunch of cool clothing, hairstyles, and face paint as you level up, and it’s fun to play around with your character’s look as you progress. (Just don’t expect to switch up your tattoos–they’re permanent.)

The lone aspect of character creation that actually affects how you play the game is your body type. Every character begins with a medium body and soon unlocks heavy and light types. Heavy characters have the most health and can carry the biggest guns, but they are also the slowest and least nimble. This makes them well suited to defending key areas or clearing out rooms, but you sometimes have to take the long way around to find a staircase. Light characters have the least health and can carry only small guns, but they are also the fastest and most nimble. They excel at running fluidly around the map and leaping to areas other players cannot reach, while peppering the enemy with gunfire. Medium characters are both nimble and durable, though not to the extent of the other types, and they function as a versatile blend of the other two.

Creating diverse types of movement is one of Brink’s main ambitions, and to a certain degree, it succeeds. Performing a speedy escape or a daring infiltration with a light character is exhilarating, while mowing down a whole enemy squad as a heavy is very satisfying. All characters can sprint, slide, and jump with varying proficiency, and this mobility helps make combat more lively. Slide into an enemy, and you knock him on his back, resulting in a close-quarters firefight that is a neat hybrid of melee combat and gunplay. Simply holding down the shoulder button while running sends you automatically vaulting over obstacles and clambering up crates, but unfortunately, this movement system is hampered by imperfections. You may take an odd approach angle to a railing and end up running right into it instead of leaping over it. And because there is no clear system to indicate which ledges are surmountable and which aren’t, you have to develop a sense of intuition through trial and error. Brink’s attempt to infuse the action with this free-running movement is intriguing but problematic, delivering both invigoration and frustration.

GameSpot’s Reviews