Tinnitus is a noise in your ears that only you can hear. Other people around you cannot hear it, so it is not tied to external stimuli. Tinnitus is relatively common. About one in five people have it, which is especially common in older adults.
Tinnitus is typically caused by an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, an ear injury, or a problem with the circulatory system. For many people, tinnitus improves with treatment of the condition or other therapies that reduce or mask the noise.
The key to this is to undergo hearing tests. Doing so will root out if it is tinnitus or something more malignant. Before you visit the nearest hearing specialist, you should continue reading this article.
A Closer Look at Tinnitus
The severity of tinnitus varies across individuals. Some are never bothered by their tinnitus. But for others, it can be so severe that it makes everyday life impossible. It would be prudent to visit a hearing specialist in the latter case.
Treatment for tinnitus aims to reduce the annoyance of symptoms, improve the quality of life, and enhance sleep. There is no cure for tinnitus. However, most patients can find relief from their symptoms by making simple lifestyle changes, using devices and medications, or seeking help from specialists.
When someone has tinnitus, they perceive a sound when no corresponding external stimulus is present. The term tinnitus (tinnitus aurium) describes the perception of sound in one ear only. Tinnitus can also refer to the perception of sound when there is no acoustic stimulus present, such as when hearing loss is present.
Tinnitus comes from inside your head. Though you may think so, it is not a sound in your external environment. The ringing in your ears may be humming, a pulsating sound, or a high-pitched whine.
Tinnitus has two types, and each has its cause. Pulsatile tinnitus is usually triggered by noises from the blood vessels near the ears, while non-pulsatile tinnitus tends to be caused by abnormal brain activity. It is best to undergo hearing tests to determine which type you have.
Often, tinnitus is a symptom of a severe underlying health disorder. It can be a sign of ear infections, hearing loss, exposure to loud noise, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and even tumors. The most effective way to combat tinnitus is to determine the underlying cause and treat it.
Tinnitus can affect both ears or only one. For example, hearing loss, dizziness, and a sensation of fullness or pressure in the ear may accompany it.
If you have tinnitus, you may find the constant noise distracting, making it difficult to concentrate or sleep. You may also have symptoms of anxiety and depression, which are common among people with chronic tinnitus.
We cannot emphasize the importance of undergoing hearing tests to determine the underlying cause of tinnitus. It is a symptom of something else and should not be treated independently. If you have tinnitus, talk with your doctor about what you can do to address your situation.
You can reduce your risk of getting tinnitus. For example, wearing earplugs or earmuffs when you are around loud noise, like while using power tools, at a firing range, or in a club, can minimize how much damage you might suffer. You can also reduce your risk by completely avoiding places with a lot of loud noise.
If you think you have tinnitus, you should immediately contact Hear More Associates. As hearing specialists, we can identify what is causing your hearing loss and how you can live a normal life, so visit us now!