For something as complex and biologically marvelous as the human body, it sure causes a lot of problems. Headaches, stomach aches, toothaches, basically any ache you can think of, your body will probably deliver that specific type of excruciating pain at some point.
This article is devoted to that particular ringing sensation you may feel in your ears sometimes. Luckily, you don’t need a healthy pair of ears to enjoy this article.
All we need are your eyeballs (hopefully those are somewhat functional) and your time. Let’s discuss everything you need to know about the ringing in your ear.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the official name for that particular ringing, buzzing, hissing, or chirping you may be hearing. It can affect you sporadically, or – in severe cases – it can be a constant debilitating effect.
It’s often worse when background noise levels are low. This means you may suffer more at night when you’re trying to sleep or if you’re in a quiet environment, like a library.
You’re not alone, though, as this particular affliction is very common. An estimated 50 million people in the US alone suffer from tinnitus.
These people aren’t deaf or hard of hearing. In fact, many people who suffer from tinnitus are actually a lot more sensitive to sound, so they have to take a few extra steps to muffle any noises others may simply be able to subconsciously block out.
Tinnitus can be caused by a blockage or infection in the ear, and it may disappear once the underlying cause is treated. Often though, the effects of tinnitus continue to persist even after any infection or blockage is cleared up.
If that is the case, it may require additional treatment. We’ll cover all of this shortly.
Causes of Ringing in the Ears
The majority of tinnitus cases are caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises, which can lead to severe damage to sound-sensitive cells within your ear (specifically, the cochlea). This is bad news if you’re a pilot, handyman, carpenter, or any other vocation that practically demands that you constantly be exposed to loud noises.
Tinnitus can also be caused by a single – sudden – moment of exposure to a loud noise, for example, being in the area of effect of a flashbang. Other causes of tinnitus include the following.
- Ear blockages and infections
- Certain medicinal drugs (antidepressants, antibiotics, aspirin, etc.)
- Advanced age
- Head or back injuries
- High blood pressure or diabetes
It’s important to remember, however, that nothing that we’ve listed here is sure to cause tinnitus. These factors simply put you at a higher risk of becoming afflicted.
There isn’t a long list of symptoms for those suffering from tinnitus, but it’s still quite debilitating. The main symptom of tinnitus is any sort of noise in your ear, including ringing, buzzing, chirping, and hissing.
This noise may be constant, or it could be sporadic. In either case, be sure to contact your doctor if the noise is accompanied by severe pain in the ear, you also experience dizziness, or your symptoms are severe and unbearable.
Your best bet if you’re experiencing tinnitus symptoms is to consult your general physician. Your doctor will probably have to give you a full-body exam in order to determine the exact cause of your tinnitus.
Be sure to inform them of any medication you’re on, as that could also be the cause of your current affliction. If your doctor is still unable to determine exactly what is causing your tinnitus, they may refer you to an otologist or an audiologist.
Generally speaking, if your tinnitus is the after-effect of an underlying medical condition, your first step should be treating that first. Otherwise, there are plenty of support groups for people with tinnitus, as well as several anti-anxiety drugs that may improve your condition.
Unfortunately, however, not every case of tinnitus can be cured completely, no matter the cause.
If any part of what we’ve just laid out applies to you, you should definitely consider seeing your doctor. If not, the information provided is still good to know.
Be sure to not listen to your music on full-blast so often, and try not to spend too much time around people who fire guns regularly (that’s just a general life tip). Hopefully, if you’re suffering from tinnitus, you’ll be able to find a treatment that works for you.