Tinnitus is the scientific term for a ringing sound in the ears. The most common type of tinnitus does not sound like a ringing phone or bell but instead presents as a constant high-pitch note that may be quite loud and obtrusive some days and softer and less noticeable other days. Other forms of tinnitus produce a clicking sound, whooshing or buzzing sound. In other words, Tinnitus is any noise in the ears that occur in the absence of an external source. In this brief guide, we will look at some of the most common causes of tinnitus.
The Different Causes of Tinnitus Explained
Tinnitus is a symptom and not considered a health condition in its own right, but instead is almost always caused by something else. The following are the most common underlying causes of tinnitus:
Exposure to loud noises: Loud noise can damage the fragile inner workings of the ear. People who spend long nights in clubs where the decibel levels are through the roof often wind up with tinnitus. The same is true for those who work with or around noisy equipment. A sudden noise event like an explosion or gunshot can also trigger tinnitus.
Age related hearing loss: As people age many of them experience different degrees of hearing loss. When hearing loss occurs, your inner ears start to amplify sounds resulting in what we experience as a ringing sensation.
Injury/trauma: Traumatic injury can damage the inner workings of the ear or cause damage to sound receptors resulting in tinnitus.
Earwax or ear infections: Earwax buildup is a known cause of tinnitus and one of the most easily treated. Ear infections may also result in tinnitus that will often go away once the infection is resolved.
Medications: Antibiotics, antidepressants, NSAIDs such as Aspirin and some cancer drugs are known to produce tinnitus in some people.
Meniere’s disease: Meniere’s disease is a condition of unknown origin that affects the inner ear. Symptoms include vertigo, hearing loss and tinnitus. A vertigo specialist from Harley St AVM can diagnose this condition and provide treatment.