What Causes Tinnitus?

What is tinnitus? Read for more information.

Do you have ringing in your ears? Get in a silent place. Listen to the silence. Is it silent? I mean completely silent. It must be completely silent because with even a little noise or sound around such as the humming of the refridgerator or the air conditioner, the tinnitus can be drowned out. Do you have a high pitched ringing in your ears? Or maybe you hear a high pitched, continual buzzing in your ears? It may sound like a continuous school bell ringing in your ears or a like a bug buzzing inside of your ears, constantly. If so, you may have tinnitus. Tinnitus is a constant high pitched ringing or buzzing in the ears. Tinnitus can also sound like other sounds, such as a roaring, a hissing or a buzzing. Millions of people suffer from tinnitus. This condition can be very disheartening, almost unbearable at times.

Tinnitus is a symptom, not a disease, and can occur with several different disorders. It is usually accompanied by some amount of hearing loss, though not always. One cause can be ear disorders such as ear infections, Meniere's disorder(which is a disorder of the inner ears, involving the semi-circular canals responsibe for balance and equillibrium), or even a build up a wax in the ears. Tinnitus can also be a side effect of certain medications. Tinnitus can also be associated with some hearing loss caused by exposure to very loud noise such as at a loud construction work site or loud music concerts.

Treating the underlying problem may alleviate or lessen the problem of tinnitus. Diagnostics is limited and usually dependant on your description of the problems and findings of underlying causes discussed above, because the doctor cannot see or hear your ringing in your ears. Your doctor (or audiologist) can conduct a hearing test to test for hearing loss or perform a CT scan to rule out brain tumors and check the acoustic nerve. Unless the source of the problem was something such as an ear infection or ear wax, that can be alleviated altogether, there is not much that can be done to help tinnitus. Little things like never having complete silence, keeping a radio on low,and keeping a crack in the window when driving to allow the sound of the air flow, can help drown out the annoying tinnitus. In severe cases, some doctors can prescribe a device called a masking device, looking something like a hearing aid, that masks the tinnitus. Tinnitus can be very irritating and unsettling, in the severest of cases, the ear drum is perferated or the nerve is severed to cause permanent hearing loss, thus alleviating the ringing. Preventatively, protect your hearing.



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