Have you ever heard a ringing, buzzing, or hissing noise in your ears that no one else could? Most people have experienced short-term bouts of tinnitus at some point in their life. However, if you’re asking whether or not you have tinnitus, you might be more concerned about the long-term chronic cases. Here, we’re going to look at some of the signs you might be experiencing tinnitus.

The symptoms of tinnitus

Just because your experience of tinnitus doesn’t match what you have heard about it from others doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have it. Tinnitus is a term used to describe the symptom of hearing any noise that others can’t hear. It can sound like ringing, clicking, buzzing, hissing, humming, or any number of noises. It can be intermittent or much more frequent; it can sound like it’s in one ear, both ears or even in your head.

Do you experience any of these risk factors?

While it can be difficult to find the cause of tinnitus, there are several risk factors that may be tied to it. As such, have you experienced any of these risk factors?

  • Using ototoxic medications
  • Ear infections
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Earwax buildup
  • High blood pressure
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Hearing loss
  • Stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Hyperacusis (noise sensitivity) 

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above and you also are encountering any of these risk factors, then you likely have tinnitus and may want to talk to your audiologist about it.

Is it affecting your life?

If you are concerned about tinnitus, then talking to an audiologist can help. However, if it also has a significant impact on your life, you might want to seek help soon. Tinnitus can interfere with life in a range of ways. Some people find that it interferes with their sleep, makes it harder to relax, causes irritation and stress and might even affect their relationships with other people. Even if you’re not certain your symptoms count as tinnitus, if you are experiencing the impacts above, then you should talk to an audiologist about it.

When to see your audiologist

As mentioned, if you experience any of the symptoms above, any of the effects it can have on your enjoyment of life. Even if you don’t have tinnitus, getting a hearing test can still be beneficial to at least see where your hearing health is at the moment. If your tinnitus is a very recent development, you may want to wait for 48 hours. If it persists after two days, then it may be chronic tinnitus and you should make an appointment with your audiologist. 

If you are experiencing tinnitus, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your audiologist. They can recommend a range of treatment options that can help you improve your quality of life, such as white noise machines and tinnitus masking devices.