Tinnitus is described as a ringing, buzzing or whooshing sound you hear when there are no external sounds. Tinnitus can affect one or both of your ears. It creates an uncomfortable situation, which to some extent can affect your day-to-day activities. It is essential for you to closely monitor your hearing for such ringing and act on it promptly before it escalates.
Approximately 15-20% of Americans often experience tinnitus at least once in their lifetime. It goes to show how prevalent it is in the country. It is most prevalent in adults and senior citizens. Therefore, you should educate yourself and take the necessary prevention measures.
Signs and symptoms of tinnitus
If you have tinnitus, you will often hear ringing sounds. Though the sound's nature can take different forms, you will find that only you can hear the sounds. The pitch and frequency of the sounds you hear may also take different variations. It would be best if you were keen to identify the types of noises on each ear to get an accurate recommendation from the audiologist.
Careful examination and affirmation from the people around you will give you accurate feedback if you experience tinnitus. Be aware of roaring, humming, buzzing or hissing sounds as they also indicate tinnitus forms.
Causes of tinnitus
The major causes of tinnitus are underlying conditions, ear injuries or circulatory system problems. You need to carefully analyze the start of your tinnitus and figure out the trigger. It will help you to narrow down the cause, thus easing your tinnitus treatment procedure.
Constant exposure to loud sounds can also cause tinnitus. When the tiny hair cells in the cochlea get bent or broken due to these noises, they can send false impulses to the brain, thus causing tinnitus.
Underlying conditions such as old age can also cause tinnitus due to the increasing number of hearing problems associated with it. Besides, conditions like diabetes, blood vessel problems or autoimmune disorders may also cause tinnitus. It would be best if you were aware of other hearing loss problems that may eventually cause tinnitus, like ear bone changes, muscle spasms, and ear infections or blockages.
You may also experience head, neck or ear injuries that may trigger tinnitus. You need to visit an audiologist once you notice any symptoms after an injury. It will help you to detect any problem early on for quick action.
Tinnitus has a bias towards men, older people, avid smokers and alcoholics and those who regularly expose themselves to loud noises. If you have underlying health conditions like obesity and arthritis, ensure that you monitor your health keenly.
Effects of tinnitus
The frequency of tinnitus varies in different individuals. Tinnitus is generally uncomfortable and irritating. Its effects range from fatigue, stress, difficulty concentrating and carrying out different tasks, sleep problems, headaches and depression.
Once you notice any sign of tinnitus, you need to see an audiologist. Although some tinnitus forms are barely intrusive, you need to analyze its occurrences and trends to know how best you will alleviate the discomfort.
Your audiologist will carry out an audiology exam where, together with the symptoms described, it will help you choose the best treatment plan available. Most treatment options will often involve lifestyle changes, hearing aids with masking features, or treating the underlying medical conditions.
The hearing aid you will be given will depends on the type of tinnitus or hearing loss you experience. For this reason, you should consult with your audiologists before purchasing your hearing aid.
You should take special care if you experience tinnitus after having an infection in the upper respiratory tract, or you feel dizzy, anxious or depressed due to the tinnitus: you should immediately seek medical intervention.
The precautions you should take against tinnitus
You should always ensure that you protect your ears against loud noises using ear protection devices, especially if you work in a noisy environment like in a loud machinery area or firearms. These constant and continuous loud noises are the primary cause of tinnitus.
You should also keep track of your health. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol while also exercising and observing proper nutrition. It will help you to remain healthy and get rid of some health conditions.
Lastly, always ensure you turn down the volume to avoid hearing loss and tinnitus. Avoid using amplified volumes as they will damage your ears.
It would be best if you keep up with your audiometry health. You can learn more about tinnitus at Hear for You Hearing & Balance Center, contact us today at 401-475-6116.