The ringing in the ears is termed as a condition known as tinnitus. People are affected with this condition depending on some factors such as a disorder of the circulatory system, hearing loss, or an ear injury. Around 15-20% of people are affected with tinnitus and it should be treated if the symptoms get severe.
Tinnitus is usually not a serious condition that needs to be treated urgently. It can be bothersome as the constant ringing can interfere with the daily activities. The right treatment can actually improve the condition by targeting the underlying causes. Some treatments focus on the ringing noise to distract the person. This can work for tinnitus sufferers is constantly focusing on the sound can make them irritable. Knowing more about the condition, its symptoms, and causes will make you aware of the right treatments available.
What are the Types of Tinnitus?
The two types of tinnitus are subjective tinnitus and objective tinnitus. Subjective tinnitus is the type in which only the person affected hears the sound. This type is more common among people which can affect the inner, middle, or outer ear. The nerves can be affected which may be causing the ringing sound. Hearing problems are also known to cause this problem which can even worsen with age. Also, the cause can be nerve signals in the brain that cannot interpret sounds.
The other type of tinnitus is objective tinnitus which can be heard by the doctor when he examines you. The muscle contractions in the ears can cause this rare condition. Also, there may be a problem with the blood vessels that are causing continuous ringing.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be caused by a number of reasons. The cause for tinnitus is not well known as different health conditions can become the reason. One of the reasons that are common includes damaged hair cell of the inner ear. The tiny hair in the ears moves when there is a pressure of the sound waves. The nerves are triggered to give the brain a signal for producing the ringing sound. Broken hair or bent hair inside the ears can trigger tinnitus ringing. The electric impulse caused can be extremely painful and irritating as it constantly interferes with daily life activities. This can reduce hearing ability as the nerves get damaged.
Common Causes of Tinnitus
Some of the common causes other than broken hair inside the ears include age-related problems, exposure to loud noises, earwax blockage, and changes in the ear bone. Age causes an increase in hearing problems as the ear nerve center in the brain weakens around 60 years of age. Moreover, loud noises can also account for hearing loss as the eardrum gets damaged. Therefore, listening to music devices for longer periods can cause permanent damage which cannot be reversed. However, temporary damage can go away on its own after some time.
The accumulation of earwax in the ears can also lead to irritation. Although earwax is nature’s way of protecting your ears against bacteria, excess of it is never good as it can lead to tinnitus. Moreover, a condition known as abnormal bone growth runs in families which can become a cause for tinnitus.
Other Causes of Tinnitus
The less common causes of tinnitus are having head injuries, acoustic neuroma, TMJ disorders, Meniere’s disease, Eustachian tube dysfunction, and muscle spasms. Abnormal fluid pressure in the ear, problems with lower jawbone joint on both sides of the head, neck trauma, tumor development, and feeling of fullness in the ears can all be causes of disorders leading to tinnitus.
Rare Causes of Tinnitus
In rare cases, tinnitus will be caused because of high blood pressure, neck tumors, atherosclerosis, turbulent blood flow, and malfunction of capillaries. Hypertension can worsen if the diet is improper leading to tinnitus in severe cases. Caffeine intake and stress can make tinnitus symptoms severe. Moreover, the connections between veins can cause conditions which can lead to tinnitus.
What are the Symptoms of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus has some common symptoms including ringing noise in the ears, constant buzzing, roaring, clicking, hissing, or humming. The sound is heard even when there is no external sound around. The sound can be heard anytime in one or both the ears. The pitch may vary from time to time. The sounds may be continuously heard or at intervals. It can sometimes make it harder to concentrate on other sounds.
When Should You See a Doctor?
The symptoms of tinnitus should be well observed. You should not delay in seeing a doctor if the symptoms are bothering you much. People can often develop signs of tinnitus after having a cold. This can be a reason for consulting a doctor sooner if the symptoms stay longer than a week.
Also, it is necessary to see a doctor if the signs of tinnitus occurred suddenly. Dizziness along with other symptoms is also a warning sign and you should see a doctor as soon as possible. This may save you from having a hearing loss.
Can Medications Cause Tinnitus?
There are medications which cause other side effects such as tinnitus. The doses can make the symptoms even worse. However, the sounds resulting from tinnitus will disappear when you stop taking the medicine. Antibiotics, water pills, antidepressants, quinine medications, and aspirin are all known to cause symptoms of tinnitus. Also, herbal supplements can make tinnitus symptoms occur if they contain caffeine and nicotine.
Are There any Risk Factors of Tinnitus?
The risk factors can increase the likelihood of tinnitus such as exposure to loud noises, age, sex, smoking, and cardiovascular problems. Loud noises are never good for the ears and therefore it is not recommended to hear them for longer periods. Age is also a prominent factor as the functioning of nerves in the ear declines. Smoking can also make tinnitus worse as it damages your overall health. The blood flow can be affected with high blood pressure which can also have an impact on ear nerves. It is observed that men are more likely to suffer from tinnitus.
What are the Complications Associated with Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can occur with other complications such as suffering from fatigue, stress, sleep problems, memory and concentration problems, depression, and irritability. All these factors can make the symptoms of tinnitus worse if not treated. Also, improvements in these factors will make you feel better if you suffer from tinnitus.
How To Prevent Tinnitus and Complications Caused?
Tinnitus cannot always be prevented as the causes can be uncontrollable. However, there is no harm in taking some precautions that will help you prevent painful symptoms of tinnitus. Hearing protection can save your ears from damage and hearing loss ultimately preventing tinnitus. Also, it is best to avoid loud noise which is why you should always keep the volume low. Cardiovascular disease can also worsen tinnitus which is why steps should be taken to manage the condition. Blood vessel disorders can disrupt all functions of the body as the heart is the center. Make dietary changes and adapt to a healthy lifestyle to reduce painful symptoms of tinnitus. This will also improve your overall health and make you feel better.