Tinnitus feels like having a permanent phantom soundtrack in your head. Have you ever experienced a persistent feeling of ringing and buzzing in your ear? If this feels familiar, then you have a medical condition called tinnitus. Sometimes, the constant hissing in your head can affect your daily life. If you want to know more about tinnitus, we’ve got you covered!
What Is Tinnitus?
It is more of a medical condition than a disease. You may experience ringing, whistling, or roaring sounds in your head. These sounds don’t come from external sources; only you can hear them.
The intensity and tone of the sounds may vary from person to person, making it a unique experience for each individual affected by tinnitus.
How Common Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is extremely common. Both children and adults may experience tinnitus. In some cases, it may go away without any treatment. 50 million people in the United States have tinnitus. Studies have shown that 10 to 25% of people globally experience it. Even though the condition is not so serious, it has the potential to interfere with daily life.
Is It Possible To Cure Tinnitus?
Currently, there is no cure for tinnitus. However, treatments can alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus. Current treatments involve techniques to avoid the sounds. There are tactics to reduce the symptoms, but a complete cure is not possible in the case of tinnitus.
What Are The Causes Of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can have various causes; some of the most common causes include:
- Exposure to loud noise: Prolonged exposure to loud noise will damage the inner ear and result in tinnitus.
- Age-related hearing loss: As people age, their ability to hear can decline. The decline in the function of the auditory system can lead to tinnitus.
- Ear wax: Excess accumulation of earwax can block the ear canal and lead to other ear health problems, including tinnitus.
- Ear infection: Ear infections are one of the common causes of tinnitus. Various types of ear infections can harm hearing capacity. One of the triggers for tinnitus is infection.
- Other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and Meniere’s disease, can contribute to tinnitus.
- Injuries: Some injuries to the head and neck can affect the auditory system and result in tinnitus.
- Stress and anxiety: Mental health issues such as stress and anxiety may result in the development of tinnitus. Some psychological factors can make it more severe and noticeable.
- Blood flow irregularities: Vascular problems such as turbulent blood flow near the ear may lead to tinnitus.
- Unexplained reasons: In some cases, it is not possible to find the exact cause of tinnitus. Unexplained tinnitus is called idiopathic tinnitus.
What Are The Symptoms of Tinnitus?
Primary symptoms of tinnitus include
- A high-pitched ringing sound is one of the common symptoms. The telltale sign of tinnitus is a persistent ringing in the ears that is not due to any external force.
- Frequent buzzing and humming
- Tinnitus can also cause whistling or hissing sounds.
- Some individuals have reported hearing a clicking sound.
- In rare cases, individuals may experience roaring sounds. These types of symptoms can be disturbing since the roaring sounds are loud and rushing.
The intensity and frequency of tinnitus can vary from person to person, considering the underlying cause that contributes to the condition. It can also occur in both ears. The sound you are hearing may become more noticeable in quiet environments. A person with tinnitus may experience difficulties focusing and sleeping. In rare cases, tinnitus may display other symptoms like:
- Hearing loss
- Feeling of dizziness
- Ear pain
- Memory problem
When Do I Need Professional Help?
Some individuals with tinnitus may not need medical help. In some cases, the symptoms may go away without any treatment. If the symptoms worsen or do not show any signs of improvement within one week, Seek the help of a medical professional. If you feel dizziness accompanied by common tinnitus symptoms such as ringing and hissing, consult a doctor immediately.
Tinnitus is a common medical condition. Even though it is a minor medical condition, severe symptoms can cause discomfort. Treatment cannot cure tinnitus completely; however, it can offer relief from symptoms such as persistent ringing and roaring sounds.
Sometimes tinnitus symptoms will go away without any care. But if the signs do not go away after one week, consult a doctor. If you feel extreme fatigue accompanied by other tinnitus symptoms, seek immediate medical help.