Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is very common, affecting an estimated 29 million adults in the United States. Quite simply, it is the sensation of hearing ringing, buzzing, hissing, chirping, whistling, or other sounds. Tinnitus can occur in one ear or both ears, can be steady, or come and go, and can vary in loudness and pitch. It is often worse when background noise is low, so you may be most aware of it at night when you’re trying to fall asleep in a quiet room.
Many people also experience ringing in their ears after a period of noise exposure at a concert, hunting, or attending a loud sporting event. This is usually temporary but repeated noise injuries can result in permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. Although tinnitus often occurs with hearing loss, it does not cause hearing loss.
There is HOPE for tinnitus sufferers!
What Causes Tinnitus?
Prolonged exposure to loud sounds is the most common cause of tinnitus. Up to 90% of people with tinnitus have some level of noise-induced hearing loss. The noise causes permanent damage to the sound-sensitive cells of the cochlea, a spiral-shaped organ in the inner ear. Carpenters, pilots, musicians, heavy equipment operators, and landscapers are among those whose jobs put them at risk, as are people who work with chain saws, guns, or other loud devices or who repeatedly listen to loud music.
Many people also experience ringing in their ears after a period of noise exposure at a concert, hunting, or attending a loud sporting event. This is usually temporary but it does indicate exposure to a dangerous level of sound. Repeated noise injuries can result in hearing loss and tinnitus as a permanent problem. Although tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss, it does not cause the loss. Tinnitus can also be caused by many medical conditions or as a side effect of many medications.
A variety of other conditions and illnesses can lead to tinnitus, including:
- Noise Exposure
- Head/Neck Trauma
- Thyroid disorders
- Lyme’s Disease
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- Certain types of tumors
- Wax Build-up
- Jaw Misalignment
- Heart Disease
- Medications (ototoxic)
- Abnormal Blood Flow (Rare Pulsatile Tinnitus)
There is hope. Get relief from tinnitus!