Although the cause of tinnitus is not exactly known, it is thought to be an issue with how the ear hears sounds, along with how the brain interprets them. Tinnitus is generally characterized by a ringing sound within the ear. In many cases, tinnitus is caused by hearing loss or damage to the inner ear, however, around one in three people with this condition do not have an obvious problem with their hearing or ears. Here are the five most common causes of tinnitus.
#1. Inner Ear Damage:
More often than not, tinnitus is caused by damage to the inner ear. When we hear sounds, they pass through from the outer to the inner ear, which contains the cochlea and auditory nerve. If part of the cochlea becomes damaged, it may stop sending information to your brain as effectively, which then leads to the brain ‘seeking out’ parts of the cochlea that are still working. As a result, these signals may then become over-represented in the brain, leading to the sounds of tinnitus.
#2. Earwax Build-Up:
If you are suffering from tinnitus and do not have any obvious hearing loss problem, nor have suffered any damage to your ear, then this condition could be caused by something as simple as ear-wax build up. A build-up of ear-wax will block the ear, potentially leading to the sounds of tinnitus occurring. Having your ears drained by a medical professional should solve the problem.
#3. Ear Infections:
Ear infections can cause temporary damage to the cochlea, leading to tinnitus-like symptoms. If you have been suffering from a cold or the flu, or are prone to ear infections, then this could be the main reason for hearing tinnitus sounds. Thankfully, your doctor should be able to help by prescribing a course of antibiotics.
#4. Meniere’s Disease:
This is a condition of the inner ear that brings on sudden attacks of vertigo, pressure inside the ear, hearing loss, and tinnitus. Symptoms can vary from person to person, however, they typically tend to happen all at once and can last minutes or hours. If you think that you may have Meniere’s Disease, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
#5. Perforated Eardrum:
A ruptured or perforated eardrum can lead to tinnitus-like symptoms such as a ringing sound in the ear. Although this condition will usually heal by itself within a few weeks, it’s a good idea to see your doctor to prevent infections or further damage.
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