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What Causes Tinnitus?
Have you ever awoken in the middle of the night with a constant ringing or buzzing sound in your ears? It feels like there is a mosquito flying around inside your head, and it’s driving you crazy. This noise is called tinnitus. Tinnitus affects over 50 million people worldwide, but many don’t know about it – let alone how to stop these annoying sounds!
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying condition rather than a physical ailment in itself. There are many different types and causes for tinnitus, including age-related hearing loss, noise pollution, inner ear cell damage from ototoxic medications such as aspirin, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or a head injury.
Tinnitus can be so debilitating that it leads people to give up their jobs and change careers. Therefore, it is vital for anyone experiencing tinnitus to take care of themselves.
How to Tell if You Have Tinnitus
There are several ways to determine if you have tinnitus. These include:
- A ringing, buzzing or hissing sound in your ears that cannot be attributed to another cause, such as high blood pressure or heart problems.
- Ringing, buzzing or hissing sounds in the background when there is no obvious sound source.
- Ears are feeling plugged up or packed.
- A sensation of a whooshing, noises in your ears as if you hear sounds underwater.
The best way to determine whether you have tinnitus is through an exam by a hearing health professional with experience treating patients with tinnitus.
If you have tinnitus, a hearing healthcare professional will probe your ears and ask whether you’ve noticed any changes in hearing or sounds since the onset of symptoms. They’ll also help determine what might be causing your problem by listening to various frequencies with a tuning fork.
What are the Common Causes of Tinnitus?
While the exact cause of tinnitus is unknown, what triggers it may vary from person to person; this includes exposure to loud sounds like those found at music concerts or just going about one’s daily life activities such as cooking in a noisy environment. In addition, many medical conditions can provoke tinnitus, such as Meniere’s disease or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
Many medications and drugs can also be a potential cause for tinnitus; this includes some antibiotics. In addition, some cancer medications treat anxiety, such as diazepam.
What Can You Do If You Have Tinnitus?
If you have tinnitus, then there are a few things that can help improve the quality of your life. Here is some information about what to do if you have tinnitus: Keep your ears clean and dry, avoid swimming when possible – see a hearing health professional for chronic cases or severe ear pain, maintain good general health, avoid stress, keep an even sleep schedule and use earplugs to block out loud background noises
Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime and keep your place quiet. If you are a smoker, quit smoking or cut down on the amount smoked per day. Smoking may worsen tinnitus symptoms. If the condition persists for more than three months, then please consult a hearing healthcare professional.
Tinnitus is a condition that affects many people, and it impacts their lives in various ways. It can be challenging to deal with when the person has constant ringing noise in their ears, but treatments are available for those who suffer from this condition. Tinnitus patients with constant ringing noise should see their local hearing specialist to discuss diagnosis and options.