The human ear is extremely sensitive. It can pick up faint sounds, and when exposed to loud noises, it experiences discomfort. Like any other part of the human body, it can be affected by certain conditions. Tinnitus, one such condition, is characterized by a noise in the ear, such as ringing. Tinnitus 911 is a natural supplement that can help with the symptoms.
This article will tell you what tinnitus is, its signs, and how to treat it. Read on to find out more about tinnitus.
Tinnitus: a Symptom of an Underlying Condition
Have you ever heard ringing in your ears? If so, then you’ve experienced tinnitus. Tinnitus is the term for ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, and hissing sounds that originate inside rather than outside your body. It is not a disease but a sign of an underlying condition, affecting 15% to 20% of people. It can be experienced as sounds you can barely hear or sounds that drown out the noise around you. Typically, only you can hear the sounds, although this isn’t always the case.
Tinnitus is worse when it’s quiet around you because there’s nothing to distract you from the ringing or buzzing in your ears. It can affect your sleep and focus, affecting your quality of life. In some cases, it leads to hyperacusis, the hypersensitivity to sound. Hyperacusis causes regular noises to be perceived as loud and loud noises to be painful. In other cases, the ears adjust to it, so you barely notice it after a while.
Symptoms of Tinnitus
Tinnitus symptoms include ringing, buzzing, clicking, whistling, and humming. These noises may be frequent or infrequent. Most of them can be heard only by the person experiencing them, as with subjective tinnitus. Still, sometimes they can be heard by a medical examiner when they inspect the ear, as with objective tinnitus.
Causes of Tinnitus
Tinnitus can be sudden or gradual and may appear in certain people for no apparent reason. In contrast, in other people, there’s an underlying reason for it. With tinnitus, there are no causes per se. Rather, there are conditions as a result of which it shows up as a symptom. Here are a few conditions that lead to tinnitus:
- Hearing loss associated with aging (presbycusis): tinnitus can affect anyone. However, it is more common in people over the age of 65 due to changes in the inner ear that come with age; tiny hairs in the inner ear weaken as you get older.
- Ear infection or head injury: an infection in your inner or outer ear can damage your eardrum by putting pressure on your eardrum through blockages or swelling. Trauma to the head can lead to pressure in the inner ear, causing tinnitus.
- Blockage: a build-up of wax in your ear can lead to tinnitus by putting pressure on your ear drum.
- Hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to loud noises: this is one of the most common causes of tinnitus. Working in loud environments or listening to loud music can damage the tiny hairs in your inner ear over time.
- Ménière’s Syndrome: this disorder of the inner ear affects your sense of hearing and balance through a build-up of pressure in the inner ear. It can result from head trauma, but it also occurs in people between the ages of 40 and 60.
- Otosclerosis: this is a genetic condition that causes the bone in the middle ear to grow abnormally, affecting your hearing.
- Inner ear muscle spasms: tinnitus can be associated with spasms in your inner ear muscles.
- Tumors: tinnitus can be a sign of tumors in your ear.
- Vascular diseases: certain conditions can alter your blood flow, causing it to move through your veins at a high or low. These conditions include hypertension, anemia, and blocked arteries.
- Reactions to certain medications: antidepressants, certain antibiotics, and anxiety medications, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen can cause tinnitus.
- taking medications for other conditions can sometimes lead to tinnitus.
Risk factors for tinnitus
Your chances of developing tinnitus are higher if you:
- are frequently exposed to loud noises.
- are over the age of 65.
- have experienced a head or ear injury.
- have vascular diseases.
- have a history of Ménière’s Syndrome in your family.
Long-term exposure to loud noises is one of the most common causes of tinnitus. To reduce your risk of tinnitus, use earphones, earplugs or both when in a noisy environment, avoid loud music at concerts, and keep the volume moderate while using earphones.
Tinnitus is a common problem that may indicate an underlying medical condition, including hearing loss. Tinnitus can make it hard for you to sleep and concentrate. It can disrupt your daily life, making you feel frustrated, angry, and depressed. Many times healthcare providers can’t find a reason why you have tinnitus. Unfortunately, providers don’t have treatment to silence tinnitus. They do have many ways to help you manage tinnitus.
The first step to treating tinnitus is visiting the doctor for an examination. Doctors can treat tinnitus caused by medication or a blockage by removing a build-up of earwax or changing your medication. If there is no apparent reason for your tinnitus, your doctor will help you with ways to manage and alleviate it.
Your doctor will examine your ears and movement, test your hearing and ask about your family’s medical history. They will want to know whether you have experienced a head injury in the past. They will examine you for underlying health conditions, run lab tests, and may order an MRI or CT scan if necessary. Suppose they cannot identify the cause of your tinnitus. In that case, they may recommend sound therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), hearing aids, or masking devices.
When to see a doctor
Tinnitus may be a sign of an underlying health condition, or it may not. If you’ve adapted to your tinnitus, so it doesn’t bother you, then you may not feel the need to visit a doctor. However, even when your tinnitus doesn’t greatly impact your quality of life, you should still see a doctor.
The following are signs a visit to the doctor is in order:
- Your tinnitus manifests alongside vertigo or a reduced hearing ability
- You only experience it in one ear
- It persists for longer than a week
The noises from your tinnitus match your pulse