A person with tinnitus usually hears a ringing sound in their ears. However, this is not always the case. They may also hear whistling, clicking, and hissing sounds. This condition can be temporary or persistent and chronic. Tinnitus only affects 50 million people in America. It mostly occurs in people 50 years or above, but adolescents and children may also experience this condition.
Common causes of tinnitus are cumulative or excessive exposure to noise, ear infections, or neck and head injury. Sometimes, it may indicate a serious medical condition. Tinnitus has no cure, but ENT specialists can suggest various ways to manage the condition. Many people suffering from chronic tinnitus regulate the ringing sound after some time, but one out of five patients will feel this condition debilitating and disturbing.
People may also experience insomnia, poor performance at school or work, difficulty in concentration, depression, anxiety, and irritability.In tinnitus, we hear a sound that has no external source but is consciously clear. This condition is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying disease or problem.
Usually, this noise is subjective, which means that only a person suffering from this condition can hear the sound. Usually, people experience a high-pitched or steady ringing in tinnitus. This sound is irritating and annoying.
Tinnitus can also be objective, but the chances are less than one percent.In this case, people suffering from tinnitus hear the noise along with others. The reason for objective tinnitus can be musculoskeletal or cardiovascular movement of the body. This condition is a medical emergency.
Tinnitus Symptoms: Causes of Tinnitus
Various health conditions can worsen or cause tinnitus. In most cases, the exact reason for tinnitus is unknown.
Nonetheless, it is likely due to damaged hair cells inside the inner ear. Tiny and delicate hairs present inside the inner ear move to the pressure of sound waves. This activates the cell to release electric signals through an auditory nerve (which is a nerve inside your ear) to your brain. The brain then interprets the signals as sound. The tinnitus sound that you hear is because the hairs malfunction and send random signals to your brain.
For many people, the below-mentioned conditions can lead to tinnitus:
1. Hearing Loss Due to Age
It’s common for people’s hearing to become worse as they age, often when they are at the age of 60. Tinnitus may be the reason for hearing loss. The medical term for this type of tinnitus is presbycusis.
2. Exposure to Loud Noise
Loud noises from firearms, chainsaws, heavy equipment, and other sources can lead to tinnitus. Portable electronic devices for music, such as iPods or MP3 players, can also cause tinnitus if you listen to music at a loud volume for prolonged periods. Tinnitus that occurs through short term exposure usually goes away.This includes noise while attending a concert with loud music. However, long and short exposure to loud noise and sound may lead to permanent damage.
3. Earwax Blockage
Earwax works asa protector for your ear canal as it traps the dirt from entering into your ear and growth of bacteria. When a lot of earwax fills the ear, it is unable to wash out. Naturally, this leads to irritation in the eardrum and, in the long term, hearing loss, which is a symptom of tinnitus.
4. Changes in Ear Bone
Otosclerosis is the stiffening of your middle ear’s bone, which affects hearing and leads to tinnitus. This condition runs in families and is a result of abnormal growth of the bone.
Other Common Causes of Tinnitus
Various other causes of tinnitus include chronic health conditions, ear problems, and injuries that affect the hearing center or ear nerves in the brain.
Before determining if you are experiencing tinnitus or not, you need to evaluate your symptoms. Start by asking yourself questions such as:
- Do you hear the sound usually?
- Is this sound coming from an internal or external source?
- What is the intensity of the sound? Is it pulsating, intermittent, or steady?
- What type of sound do you hear? For instance, is it humming, hissing, buzzing, whistling, rushing, chirping, clicking, roaring, or ringing?
- Does it sound more like a heartbeat?
- Can you locate the sound? Is it coming from a single ear or both, or is it coming from a distance, or from your head?
You can also learn various types of tinnitus sounds.You may notice these sounds with low background noise. For instance, when you are in your bed at night, and your environment is quiet, or if you are in a quiet room working, you may notice the sound. Additionally, there is information about tinnitus and its relation to hearing loss.
Tinnitus Symptoms: Conclusion
No matter if you are suffering from subjective or objective tinnitus, you need to consult a specialist as soon as possible. If you delay, the condition can get worse and painful.