“Why do I hear a ringing noise in my ears?” “How can I make that sound go away?”
If you find yourself saying things like this, you could have tinnitus, a common hearing condition where you hear noises or perceive a sound that others don’t hear. You’re not alone. Tinnitus is a disorder that impacts millions of individuals.
Most describe it as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a pulsing noise, a dial tone, whistling, or buzzing.
Depending on the intensity, ringing in the ears may seem harmless. But tinnitus shouldn’t always be disregarded. Something more serious might be the underlying cause of these noises.
You should take the following 6 symptoms seriously.
1. Your Quality of Life is Being Affected by The Ringing in Your Ears
Some studies reveal that 26% of people with tinnitus cope with that ringing on an almost continuous basis.
This frustrating, ever-present noise can lead to all kinds of relationship issues, anxiety, insomnia, and even depression.
It can be a struggle between the tinnitus sound and something as basic as trying to hear your friend tell you a recipe over the phone. You may snap at your grandchild, who asks a simple question, because the ringing makes you stressed.
Continuous ringing can cause a vicious cycle. As your stress level rises, the ringing gets louder. Loud noise makes you more nervous and so on.
If tinnitus is leading to these types of life challenges, it’s time to address it. It’s there, and your life is being affected. The noise can be reduced or eliminated with available treatment choices.
2. The Noise in Your Ears Starts After You Switch Medications
Doctors may try various different medications to treat the same condition whether you have cancer or chronic pain. Some of these will have side effects so severe that you may want to ask about alternate options. Consult with your doctor and learn what the side effects are if you began experiencing tinnitus symptoms after starting a new medication.
Tinnitus may be caused by some common medications. These include some forms of:
- Loop Diuretics
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
- Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
3. It Comes With Headache, Blurred Vision, or Seizures
This might be a sign that high blood pressure is triggering your tinnitus. When you have hypertension, the blood flow to your inner ear is restricted. Your overall health is also in danger with high blood pressure. Age related hearing loss, over time, will worsen because of this.
4. You Always Seem to be Leaving Work, The Gym, or a Concert When You Hear it
If you only hear the tinnitus after you leave a loud place such as a factory, concert, aerobics class, or bar, then the place you just left had unsafe levels of noise. If you neglect this episodic tinnitus and don’t begin to safeguard your ears, it will most likely become permanent over time. And hearing loss will usually accompany it.
If you’re going to be exposed to loud sound, use the following to safeguard your hearing:
- Standing a little further away from loud speakers
- Wearing earplugs
- At least once every hour, step outside or into the restroom to give your ears a break
Follow the rules pertaining to earplugs and earmuffs if you work in a noisy setting. Your safety gear will only successfully protect you if you use it correctly.
5. You Also Have Facial Paralysis
Whether you have ringing in your ears or not, you should never ignore facial paralysis. But when you have paralysis, nausea, headaches, and you also have tinnitus, it’s possible that you may have an acoustic neuroma (a slow growing benign brain tumor).
6. Fluctuating Hearing Loss is Accompanying Tinnitus
Are you experiencing hearing loss that comes and goes? Do you feel dizzy off and on? When accompanied by tinnitus, this suggests you need to be tested for Meniere’s disease. This causes your ears to ears get a fluid imbalance. Your risk of falling caused by lack of balance will worsen if this disorder is left untreated.
Hearing loss is often signaled by tinnitus. So you should have your hearing tested if you’re experiencing it. Call us to make an appointment.