What causes ringing in the ears? Just like a ringing bell calls for your attention, ringing in your ears can as well be a signal to sound a warning to your body.
Ringing sound in your ears is referred to as tinnitus and starts in your inner ear. Mostly, it is triggered by damage to the sensory hair cells in the inner ear or the cochlea.
Tinnitus can manifest itself in many ways including ringing, sounds related to the ocean, buzzing, whooshing, or hissing. This sound can be in one or both ears, loud or soft, constant or occasional. Most often, you will notice the sound at night when your body is relaxed out of family or work distractions. It is mostly associated with hearing loss.
The condition is more common than you could expect. Over the previous year, more than 8 percent of the US adult population has experienced ringing sounds going for at least 5 minutes according to the National Institute on Deafness and Hearing Disorders.
The condition isn’t life-threatening. It is more of a symptom of other problems other than a disease by itself. In some people, this distracting sound can lead to anxiety, depression, or insomnia. Even though tinnitus can worsen with age, it can significantly improve with treatment especially applying the right hearing aid. Also, treating an underlying cause can help.
Read on to understand what causes ringing in the ears and the possible solution for tinnitus.
What causes ringing in the ears?: Common causes
In most people, tinnitus can result from one of these conditions.
Exposure to loud noise
High-level sounds for instance those from the heavy machine, firearms, or chain-saws are some examples of noise related to hearing losses. Portable music devices that are most common to the youths such as iPods or MP3 players can also cause ringing in the ears if played loudly for long periods. However, tinnitus that results from short-term exposure, like attending a concert, will usually go away. But always remember, both long and short term exposure to loud noise can lead to irreversible damage to your ears
Age-related hearing loss
For many, hearing worsens with age, mostly from 60 years. Hearing loss, whether age-related or not can lead to tinnitus. The medical term to describe this type of hearing loss is presbycusis.
Earwax shields your ear canal by slowing the growth of bacteria and trapping dirt. When you leave too much earwax to accumulate, it becomes hard for it to naturally wash, leading to eardrum irritation or even hearing loss. This can easily trigger tinnitus.
Ear bone changes
Stiffening of the middle ear bones, a condition referred to as otosclerosis can alter your hearing and cause tinnitus. This cause of ringing in the ears tends to be genetic and can run in families.
Middle hear infections can easily lead to hearing loss and eventually tinnitus. Symptoms will normally not be permanent but it is advisable to have the infection treated by a GP.
Other possible causes for what causes ringing in the ears?
- Head and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Middle ear (Eustachian tube) injury or problems
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
- Foreign object touching the eardrum
If earwax or a foreign body is the cause of tinnitus, removing the wax or object is the best remedy.
A ringing sound in your ear with a heartbeat-like sound can be serious. This is because it could have resulted from abnormal growth in the ear region. It can be a tumor or abnormal connection between an artery and a vein.
In this situation, seek for a medical evaluation ASAP.
Who can be Affected by Tinnitus?
People of all ages can experience ringing in the ears, including children, although the condition is more common to people aged 60 and above.
It is true that most people have experienced some short periods of tinnitus after exposure to loud noises from machines or after a music concert.
In the US, more persistent tinnitus is said to affect about 10 percent of the population with about 1 percent experiencing it to severity.
Tinnitus can affect your quality of life and that why you always need a hearing aid provider that is true-and-tested. Sandia Hearing Aids Colorado Springs is equipped with the latest hearing technologies and comprehensive hearing care to take care of all your ringing in the ear problem.
Ringing in the Ear Solutions
while tinnitus will in most cases go away itself, it is often the for the long haul. While there is no known cure for this condition, there are things a Colorado Springs hearing aider recommends that will help you cope.
Using hearing aids
Loss of hearing is mostly unnoticeable and a gradual process. That’s the reason why many people are very shocked when a hearing provider or a GP breaks hearing loss news to them. If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss, using hearing aids can greatly help for tinnitus as they will be restoring what you cannot hear.
After the introduction of digital hearing aids, today hearing aiders are able to accurately tailor hearing aids specifically for a certain individual. This has led to an immense beneficial effect of hearing aids for ringing sound in the ear.
In Colorado Springs, purchase a hearing aid that is insured by your insurance in case of loss or damage both in your home or outside.
Ringing sound in the ear is most noticeable in quiet environments. It’s like a birthday cake candles—in the lights, you will not notice the brightness of the candles. But when you turn off the lights the candles appear brighter. The same is true of tinnitus. With other sounds, it is not that loud, but with all the other sounds turned off, the sounds are much more noticeable.
Using background sound can be an awesome remedy for tinnitus. This can range from radio, music, or natural sounds.
You can take a therapy that helps you to learn more about ringing sound in the ear and how you can easily cope with it.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy or (TRT)
This is a therapy that is aimed at retraining your brain’s responds to these perceived sounds so you can easily ignore the them.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or (CBT)
You can also take a therapy that will help you to view the condition you are in a positive way so that it can’t be easily noticed.
Bottom line for what causes ringing in the ears?
If tinnitus persists for some time, visit a GP or a hearing care provider near you. Also, look for a doctor right away if you are feeling somehow dizzy, with complete hearing loss in one ear or you have a combination of vertigo and tinnitus—this could signal Meniere’s disease.
According to Sandia Hearing Aids Colorado Springs, it is common to experience ringing in the ears at some point. Most often it’s not serious but it can affect your day-to-day life. But the good news is that you can coach your body to ignore it.