Tinnitus Causes and Symptoms: What You Should Know About them
Tinnitus Causes and Symptoms
Hearing repetitive noise in your ear alone is usually frustrating, if not overwhelming. Doctors would often suggest that it’s a harmless condition, especially compared to cancer, diabetes, and other deadly diseases. However, undoubtedly, tinnitus is draining and enfeebling. Understandably, several remedies are available for the condition; understanding the health situation comes first. So, let’s shed light on tinnitus causes and symptoms and associated information. Enjoy reading.
What is Tinnitus?
Most health experts consider tinnitus as a symptom of an underlying health challenge. It’s usually a series of noise in our ear without a physical source. Due to the repetitive nature of the buzz, tinnitus disrupts sleep patterns and fosters loss of focus. Noise due to tinnitus may come in different forms, ranging from buzzing, hissing, chirping, squeaking, ringing to roaring. Regardless of the noise form, the fact that only you get to hear the sounds in most cases makes it quite draining.
Sometimes, a medical expert may hear the sound. This is possible when the affected person suffers from pulsatile tinnitus, which involves listening to your heartbeat’s sounds. In this case, doctors can listen to the sounds using a hearing device, which will be connected to your ear. Several conditions may be responsible for pulsatile tinnitus. These include – but not limited to – anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, arterial damage, malformed capillaries, depression, and head tumors.
The Causes of Tinnitus
Tinnitus, in general, may be caused by different health conditions. When you start hearing noise out of nowhere, you need to consider the source of the noise and possible actions to get rid of it. Speaking about the cause, it can range from an influenced earwax to ear infection. So, once you can manage the affected earwax or eliminate ear infection, then you have solved the problem.
Drug usage is another common factor behind tinnitus. For this condition, patients can get one of the many over-the-counter or prescribed medications to stop the sounds. However, in this case, the existing drugs will be assessed by your doctor to determine if it is truly responsible for your tinnitus. Notable among medicines that can lead to tinnitus include aspirin, ibuprofen, specific antidepressants, quinine, and diuretics. Extreme high or low intake of these drugs can lead to tinnitus, depending on how individuals react to them. If your regular drug is found to be responsible for tinnitus, you simply have to consider other options.
Tinnitus may also be caused by exposure of ear to loud noises. This can lead to hearing loss and a high chance of tinnitus. Loud noises from music devices, such as iPods, can impact the ear. Also, exposure to vacuum cleaners, lawnmowers, power tools, or leaf blowers at high volumes regularly may end in tinnitus. If you sustain head injuries, there is an increased chance of experiencing tinnitus.
For this reason, athletes, such as footballers, are more likely to experience the frustrating condition. Additionally, loss of hearing due to advancing age can promote tinnitus experience. There is a bone in the middle of the ear. When this bone stiffens, it can affect hearing and result in tinnitus.
Furthermore, when the middle ear’s fluid level increases abnormally and leads to ear pressure, it usually causes tinnitus. This condition is simply known as Meniere’s disease, and it’s rare. Also, an acoustic neuroma can stimulate tinnitus experience. The health condition involves a harmless tumor, which develops in the cranial nerve. The tumor can spread from the brain to the inner ear. In this case, it can lead to loss of hearing, imbalance, and tinnitus in a single ear. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder facilitates the chance of experiencing tinnitus as well. Several other reasons may lead to tinnitus. And don’t be surprised if your doctor doesn’t have an idea regarding the source of the problem – it happens.
However, endeavor to plan an appointment with a specialist as soon as possible. In this way, the doctor can explain to you that your condition is treatable. Try to treat quickly to get rid of the discomfort and pain.
Factors Responsible for Tinnitus Risk
Some factors can increase the chance of tinnitus. They are as follow:
- Age: With age, the hearing capability may decline and result in a higher risk of tinnitus.
- Gender: Compared to children and women, men tend to experience tinnitus more. According to a study, one in eight men develops tinnitus once they fall between sixty-five and seventy-four.
- Smokers: If you smoke, it will increase the possibility of experiencing tinnitus.
- Loud noises: Here is the most common factor behind the condition. Exposure to massive noise can damage the tiny sensor hairs in the ear. These hairs help transmit sound to the brain. You can’t repair the strands once damaged, and it can increase the risk of tinnitus.
- Cardiovascular diseases: When the arteries are damaged, it affects blood flow into the inner ear. Also, high blood pressure destabilizes blood supply. These two cardiovascular conditions can cause tinnitus.
Possible Treatments for Tinnitus
As an affected individual, you are best advised never to give up on looking for solutions. Otherwise, it can affect life quality in various ways. For instance, tinnitus can impact cognitive ability, cause memory issues, and lead to a loss of focus. Also, tinnitus can be responsible for stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, and anxiety. Whenever you try to sleep, the overwhelming noise may force you back to reality. Thus, you may feel irritated due to the noise and lack of sleep.
So, how do you prevent tinnitus?
- Endeavor to stay away from loud noises. Whenever you are exposed to loud sounds, perhaps at the airports, from vacuum cleaner or power plants, you should use ear protectants.
- Try to manage chronic stress as much as possible. You can try breathing exercises, relaxation therapies, and massage as parts of your stress management procedures.
- If you are an ardent smoker, you should join a smoking cessation program to stop the habit.
- You should reduce your intake of alcohol. The hard drinks affect blood circulation, including those heading to the inner ear. Also, it is recommendable to avoid caffeine as it has similar effects.
Visit a Doctor
Advisably, you should see a doctor once the sound starts disturbing you. More importantly, if you notice that after dealing with an upper respiratory infection (including cold), you keep hearing a sound, ensure that you visit your doctor. You can pay attention to the tinnitus causes and symptoms for two weeks before heading to your doctor’s office.
Additionally, when the condition happens alongside dizziness or loss of hearing, the doctor should be contacted. Whether you know the reason for tinnitus or not, the doctor is your best shot towards finding a cure.