Ringing in The Ears: What Is It?

views

Are you constantly hearing ringing noises? Although most people look for the source of these sounds in their surroundings, the noise usually comes from the interior part of their ears. Age is just one of the risk factors causing tinnitus, given the majority of individuals face hearing impairments as they grow older.

Sometimes, the cause of ringing in the ears is more complicated, such as Meniere’s disease, blood vessel disorders, multiple sclerosis, acoustic neuroma, etc. Home remedies are considered most effective in learning to live with such irritating sounds.

The following guide explains the causes, risk factors, symptoms, and treatment of tinnitus.

Common causes

Common causes

Tinnitus can be both temporary and permanent, resulting from a large number of causes. For example, age-related hearing loss is a frequent cause, triggered by the gradual deterioration of the inner ear, particularly referring to the hair cells within it. Whenever sound waves come in contact with the inner ear, the hairs move in order to stimulate the cochlear nerve to transport the signal to the brain.

In the course of aging, the hair cells tend to break and deteriorate when exposed to loud noises. As a result, the brain is provided with random impulses instead of the correct ones, which eventually lead to ringing in the ears. Visit the following link, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochlear_nerve, to learn about the anatomy and connections of the cochlear nerve.

Another potential cause of tinnitus is ear canal blockage, occurring due to the accumulation of earwax, fluid, or dirt. Earwax is produced by the body in order to provide ear protection. Anyhow, when earwax buildup exceeds the normal amount required for the protection of the organ, the pressure inside the ear goes up. Such a change in pressure is highly likely to result in tinnitus.

In addition, certain medications are believed to either cause tinnitus or make the symptoms worse. These medications include antibiotics, NSAIDs, antidepressants, cancer medications, aspirin, antimalarial pills, diuretics, etc. The symptoms are believed to become worse when taking higher doses of any of the above-mentioned medications. Usually, the ringing noise in the ears is eliminated once you stop taking the drugs.

An injury to the head and the neck is another reason why people suddenly feel a ringing sound in their ears. These types of traumas have a negative impact on the cochlea and hearing nerves responsible for transporting sounds to the brain. As far as post-traumatic tinnitus is concerned, it happens in only one ear. Also, sinus infections are believed to cause hissing in the ears due to the pressure boost in the sinus area. Nevertheless, the annoying noise people hear is only present until the sinus infection is cured.

Despite these common causes, tinnitus might be a resulting symptom of a chronic health condition. One of the most important questions people suffering from ringing in the ears ask is can tinnitus go away after years of having it? Unfortunately, there are many cases where this symptom cannot be cured; only managed.

For instance, it’s an indicator of Meniere’s disease, which happens as a result of boosted ear pressure. Additionally, tinnitus can result from muscle spasms occurring in the inner ear. The reason why these muscles become tense is generally unknown, but sometimes a neurological disease like multiple sclerosis is considered responsible for the spasms.

Furthermore, certain blood vessel disorders are to blame for the development of tinnitus. Individuals coping with hypertension and arteriosclerosis are more susceptible to hearing a ringing noise because of the force blood uses to rush through the veins. Also, this symptom occurs in people with anemia, diabetes, thyroid issues, arthritis, etc.

Risk factors

Risk factors

There are multiple risk factors that increase the likelihood of people developing tinnitus. Exposure to ear-piercing sounds is an important risk factor to take into account. Individuals working in environments where deafening noises are present at all times are incredibly susceptible to hearing a clicking sound even in silent environments.

If possible, limit the exposure to the sound of loud equipment such as chain saws, lawnmowers, firearms, etc. Certain professions are highly susceptible to such a condition, such as soldiers, musicians, gardeners, and construction workers.

Moreover, as mentioned above, age is a crucial risk factor. As people get older, the nerve fibers in the organ of hearing are no longer as functional as they were in the past. Consequently, individuals develop different hearing impairments, most of which are related to tinnitus.

Alcohol and drug consumption are also worth considering as risk factors. The same goes for particular health problems like hypertension, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, etc.

Symptoms

Ringing in the ears, as the name suggests, involves a ringing, internal sound that affects one organ in most individuals. Nevertheless, some people hear a clicking sound in both the left and the right organ. Not all people describe the sound they hear as ringing but also as clicking, hissing, roaring, and whistling. The intensity of this noise varies, thus being the loudest at night and when surrounded by silence.

Tinnitus is powerful enough to cause irritation and make changes in the lives of individuals. Besides the irritating sound, some people experience an array of other symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, depression, stress, fatigue, concentration problems, headaches, memory problems, etc. Unless you learn to manage the symptoms, tinnitus has the potential of causing harm to your emotional health.

Treatment options

When it comes to treatment, this condition can be successfully treated only when caused by an infection, medications, and bone issues. In the rest of the cases, home remedies are considered useful in the management of the condition such as sound therapy or tinnitus retraining therapy.

The former provides temporary relief while people listen to background music through masking devices. The aim of the latter is to retrain the auditory system for the purpose of accepting the ringing sounds as normal, not disruptive.

Final thoughts

Whenever you notice changes in the way you hear, always consult a doctor.

Do your best to minimize the damage!

Share this
Tags

Must-read

How Was Beer Made in the 17TH Century?

In the 17th century, beer production involved several meticulous steps. It began with the malting.  The process included germinating and drying the barley to...

Scott Audia Highlights Ethical Investing in Modern Finance

In today’s investment landscape, ethical investing has moved from a niche interest to a significant influence in the financial markets. More investors than ever...

How Was Beer Made in the 15TH Century?

In the 15th century, the beer-making process involved malting grains, mashing process, and boiling with hops. There were unique fermentation methods shaped by regional differences,...

Recent articles

More like this