What is tinnitus? Tinnitus refers to a common condition in which sufferers experience an irritating sensation of hearing ‘ringing’ sounds in their ears. Other sounds that they find extremely bothersome include hissing, buzzing, clicking, whistling and chirping etc. This noise is continuous and may vary in volume.
Sufferers of Tinnitus find it very hard to bear the noise, especially when background noise is low and there is pin-drop silence. In the absence of background noise, the ringing tends to enhance and annoy more because background noise actually helps drown it out to some extent.
What is Tinnitus: Causes
One of the most common causes of Tinnitus is prolonged exposure to repetitive noise. Tinnitus can also be the result of old age hearing loss. There are delicate hair cells present in your inner ear that end to damage or wear and tear as you age. This leads to hearing problems and makes tinnitus more noticeable.
The structure of your ear is such that your inner ear translates sounds waves into nerve signals that are then sent to your brain. In this condition, the brain finds it hard to process the constant irritating noise. Individuals who take pills like aspirin, sedatives and anti depressants are more likely to develop this condition, since tinnitus is a side effect of such drugs.
Cardiovascular and circulatory problems may also cause Tinnitus to develop. In addition to that, frequent high blood pressure may also be one of the causes. You can expect high blood pressure if you have recently experienced a head injury, perhaps. Also, if there is ear wax stuck in your ear drums, there are chances that you can suffer from tinnitus, temporarily. You will go back to normal after the removal of wax from your ear.
However, if you notice the sound matching with your heart beat or sounding like it, then this is alarming and needs immediate medical attention. Doctors also believe that taking excessive stress and suffering from anxiety may also lead to Tinnitus.
What is Tinnitus: Symptoms
Main symptom that leads towards Tinnitus is extreme annoyance towards hissing and ringing sounds. If you simply cannot bear such sounds and feel an intense headache because of them, then you need to get a check-up done. It is very evident and noticeable at night when you are trying to sleep.
Experiencing pain in your jaw or dizziness may also be a symptom of Tinnitus. Other than that, if you have anemia or you have lost a lot of blood from your system due to an accident and you notice tinnitus symptoms in yourself then you need to consult a doctor.
Types of Tinnitus
Subjective Tinnitus is relatively easy to treat because it mainly has to do with auditory pathways and nerve signal problems that result in hearing issues. Objective Tinnitus on the other hand is more severe. It is rare and may be the result of a blood vessel or circulatory problem, making it more serious.
To conclude, it is vital to see a specialist if your tinnitus bothers you a lot or you have identified symptoms in yourself that lead towards tinnitus. Do you feel super annoyed at work because of the constant clicking noise that comes out of a colleague’s keyboard? Yes? Well, do not worry. Consult a doctor and address the issue so that you can live a normal and healthy life, and enjoy working in peace.
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Stephen Geller Katz, LCSW-R
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