man holding his head in pain

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus, a common hearing problem, affects many people, including adults and children, with estimates suggesting it impacts 10% to 25% of the population. It involves hearing sounds inside your head when there’s no external source, like ringing or buzzing, which can feel isolating and upsetting.

For some people, tinnitus symptoms may get better over time, but for others, it becomes a long-lasting issue lasting more than three months. While the exact cause is not fully understood, studies show it usually isn’t a sign of a serious health problem and doesn’t usually disrupt daily life. However, it can greatly affect a person’s well-being, leading to anxiety, depression, and problems with sleep, mood, and concentration.

It’s important to know that tinnitus isn’t curable, but there are effective ways to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Sound therapy devices like hearing aids can help by masking internal sounds and providing external noise. Behavioral therapies and certain medications can also help reduce symptoms and help people cope with the challenges of tinnitus.

Taking a comprehensive approach that combines different treatments tailored to the individual’s needs is key to effectively managing tinnitus and getting back to normal life. By increasing our understanding of this complex condition and using appropriate interventions, we can provide support and help those living with tinnitus lead fulfilling lives.

What causes Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition where you hear sounds like ringing or buzzing in your ears even when there’s no external noise. While we’re not completely sure why it happens, there are a few things that seem to make it more likely.

One common cause is exposure to loud noises, like at concerts or in loud workplaces. This is often seen in veterans who have been around gunfire or loud machinery. But tinnitus can also happen without any hearing loss, although they’re often linked, especially as people get older or if they’ve been around loud noises for a long time.

Using certain medications, like antibiotics or some painkillers, can also make tinnitus more likely. Other things that might trigger it include having too much earwax, infections in your ears, or injuries to your head or neck.

Sometimes, tinnitus can be related to other health conditions like Ménière’s disease or problems with your jaw joint. It’s also been linked to things like tumors, high blood pressure, or diseases like diabetes or multiple sclerosis. But sometimes, there’s no clear reason why someone might have tinnitus.

We still need to learn more about tinnitus to understand why it happens and how to treat it better. Knowing more about what causes it can help us find better ways to help people manage it and live more comfortably.

Ringing in the ears? Call us now.

What are the symptoms of Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a complex condition, and its symptoms can vary from person to person. These symptoms often involve hearing sounds like ringing, buzzing, humming, hissing, or squealing, which can come from different parts of the head. The loudness and pitch of these sounds may change intermittently or remain constant. Interestingly, certain body movements or touches, like turning the neck or moving the eyes, can sometimes alter these sound perceptions, a phenomenon called somatosensory tinnitus.

It’s important to note that tinnitus sounds are typically only heard by the person experiencing them and are subjective. However, in some cases, a healthcare provider can detect objective tinnitus using a stethoscope. Objective tinnitus usually stems from specific underlying causes and may be treatable. Providing comprehensive care for individuals with tinnitus requires understanding its various presentations and considering different treatment options. Healthcare professionals play a crucial role in delivering this comprehensive care.

If you or a loved one is struggling with tinnitus, contact us today to find out what can be done.