At some point in your life, you’ve likely heard the phrase “ringing in the ears.” It’s even possible that you’ve experienced it yourself. People often experience this when inside a space.
It’s most common for people with normal hearing to experience this when surrounded by absolute silence. You might have also had a subtle but noticeable ringing in your ears at night, just after you’ve laid down or before you go to bed. While it’s not something you need to worry about right away, if you frequently experience it, you may want to get a hearing test.
Ringing in your ears, buzzing, clicking, whooshing, and other phantom noises are often signs that you might have tinnitus. Tinnitus is caused by damage to or the loss of sensory hair cells in the cochlea or the inner ear. As mentioned, it can present itself in many different ways.
To help you understand tinnitus better, here are a few facts about it.
There are Four Types of Tinnitus
Somatic tinnitus is the type that is related to physical movement and touch. Its main characteristic is the forceful and sometimes painful spasm of muscles in the neck and jawline. You can consider it a sensory issue as the spasms are the cause of the psychoacoustic anomalies.
You may experience tinnitus after neurologic injuries like whiplash, head injury, multiple sclerosis, and more. This type of tinnitus is caused by the brain trying to adjust to hearing loss. Because your hearing has been compromised, the brain interprets certain activity as sound despite its absence.
Objective tinnitus is considered to be rare. It results from sudden and unexpected muscle contractions or any anomalies or deformities in the cardiovascular region. Should that deformity or condition be treated, the tinnitus may go away completely. This is what we mean when we say that it’s often a sign of something more serious.
Subjective tinnitus is the most common type of tinnitus that most people experience today. It’s the type where you hear sounds that nobody else can. For most people, subjective tinnitus can come without warning and just go away unexpectedly. For others, this type can be a lifelong condition they must manage.
It’s Symptom, Not a Disease
One of the most important things people need to understand about tinnitus is that it’s not a disease. Although it’s important to get a hearing test to determine what’s causing it, it’s also just a sign of something else, possibly more concerning.
Whenever you experience phantom noises, it’s best to visit a hearing clinic right away. They can help you get to the root cause and hopefully resolve it as soon as possible.
It Affects People of All Ages
You might think that kids, teens, or even young adults are exempt from having tinnitus. But the truth is that anyone can experience it. While some people are safer than others, no one is immune to it.
Certain things can increase your risk of being surrounded by loud noise for long periods. It’s essential to protect yourself by minding the noises that surround you daily. Make sure to protect your ears whenever you’re around loud noises.
The Bottom Line
Even though tinnitus is a common problem—it affects 15 to 20 percent of Americans today—most people don’t really know much about it. Some might not have even heard about it.
Although having tinnitus is not necessarily dangerous, it may be a sign of a bigger problem. This is why it’s essential to recognize it early on. Make sure to get help if you ever find yourself experiencing phantom noises.
If you are looking for the best hearing test available, we can help you. Hear More Associates are the most trusted hearing care specialists throughout Lexington and Greater Boston, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Our goal is to help our patients live comfortably to the fullest. Schedule an appointment with us today!