Tinnitus is the medical term for ringing in the ears accompanied by hearing loss. According to patients, the sound in subjective tinnitus (cases where the patient hears the ringing) has been described as whistling, howling, buzzing, and hissing.
Several factors contribute to the development of the condition, including underlying health conditions like high blood pressure and any nervous system disorders or degenerative disease. Age also weighs heavily on whether a patient can be diagnosed with tinnitus. Proper hearing care can make a big difference in the life of a person experiencing this type of hearing issue.
Most of the time, it is not serious enough to be considered an emergency and is treatable. Also, the Beltone Tinnitus Calmer App is a great hearing aid resource to help patients beat the worst symptoms of the condition and take back their lives.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is actually common, affecting as much as 20% of the adult population. The exact causes vary from person to person, but a variety of known factors increase the likelihood of a diagnosis.
Age-related hearing loss is the number one indicator of the condition, as it is part of the natural process that diminishes the ear’s function throughout life. Loud noises, from stereos or industrial equipment, for example, can contribute to the development of the condition. Cases caused by loud noises usually only last a short while until the ringing stops and normal function resumes. Long-term or even permanent damage can occur, though, with repeated exposure to extremely loud noises. Changes to the ear bone can contribute to the condition as well through a process called otosclerosis in which the material hardens.
Medications can also cause ringing in the ears as an unpleasant side effect. Common culprits of pharmacologically-induced cases include antibiotics, cancer drugs, aspirin, and antidepressants (SSRIs). In extreme cases, after other treatments have failed, patients suffering from ear ringing due to medications may decide to quit or alter their regimen to avoid the problem in the future.
Stress, fatigue, and lack of sleep also play important roles in promoting optimal ear function as well as a healthy nervous system as a whole.
Aside from lifestyle adjustments, there are medications that can help minimize ringing. Benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax are effective in many cases, even at very low doses of less than a gram. However, these drugs carry a significant risk for dependency and should only be used sparingly and under the supervision of a doctor. The proper treatment of tinnitus depends on the cause. When hearing loss has occurred, hearing aids may be necessary for affected patients to restore hearing ability.
Contact Us Today!
If you are battling tinnitus or have any concerns, schedule an appointment at Beltone Dallas Fort Worth today. Our hearing care specialists will help you find solutions to better hearing.