Tinnitus: What Causes the Ringing In Your Ears?
What causes noise or ringing in my ears?
Tinnitus can be caused by exposure to loud noise, medical illness or head and neck trauma.
If you’ve been hearing a ringing or other persistent sounds in your ears that don’t go away, you may have developed tinnitus.
Read on for some important facts about this very common condition.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a common condition that causes a noise heard in the head or ears. It affects people differently and can be described as low-pitched, high-pitched, constant, or intermittent. It can come across as ringing, roaring, buzzing, whistling, or humming. It can also be permanent or temporary.
Tinnitus can also be incredibly maddening for those living with it. Therefore, it is important to take preventative measures against tinnitus. If you already have it, there are ways to treat and lessen your symptoms.
The people most at risk for tinnitus are: seniors, military personnel, musicians and people who work in loud environments.
What causes tinnitus?
There are several factors that can cause tinnitus, the leading being exposure to loud noise that you might hear at concerts, or gunfire. Other things that can trigger the condition are age-related hearing loss, some medications, and head and neck injuries. Stress and anxiety can even cause tinnitus.
How do you prevent tinnitus?
You can’t always prevent tinnitus, especially if it is caused by infection or stress. However, tinnitus caused by loud noises can be prevented by wearing proper hearing protection devices.
Is there a cure or treatment plan for tinnitus?
Unfortunately, there is not a cure for tinnitus, but there are treatment options.
One such treatment option is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy. It is not a cure but rather a management program. This treatment works by helping to lessen the individual’s perception of the noise. Tinnitus retraining therapy can vary by provider, with success rates of about 80 percent.
Another treatment option involves treating the root cause of the tinnitus. When tinnitus is the result of hearing loss, many individuals find significant relief from it by simply treating the hearing loss with hearing aids.
In addition to these options, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress-reducing habits have been known to help relieve tinnitus.
What is sound therapy and how does it work?
Sound therapy is a treatment to help manage tinnitus symptoms. Sound therapy works by making the perception of the tinnitus less noticeable compared to background sound that is delivered through a sound therapy device. Most patients find the use of background sound very helpful when used in combination with Tinnitus Retraining Therapy.
The Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center has a Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) program to treat patients who suffer from tinnitus with trained and certified audiologists. Contact us to find out more.
Does tinnitus cause hearing loss?
Tinnitus doesn’t cause hearing loss. It is very common in people with hearing loss, however, not all people with hearing loss will develop tinnitus.
If you have further questions about speech or hearing disorders in children or adults, our audiologists, speech pathologists, services, events, or volunteer opportunities, please reach out to us online or call (904) 355-3403.
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This article was originally published on February 28, 2018, and has since been updated.