Have you ever experienced ringing in the ears?
Do you hear an intermittent sound or an annoying, continuous sound in one or both ears? Are you currently doing your own research to learn more about tinnitus (the medical term for ringing in the ears)?
The definition of tinnitus is “the subjective perception of sound by an individual, in the absence of external sounds.” It is not a disease, but a common symptom associated with the hearing system, and it is experienced by many people.
The inner ear is often the culprit for tinnitus. This symptom can actually get associated with different hearing system problems, so a proper evaluation and diagnosis from an ENT specialist is the first step.
Do you know that approximately 36 million Americans suffer from tinnitus? If you have experienced this condition, you probably already know that the pitch can range from a low roar to a high squeal or whine. It can be incredibly disruptive and annoying.
Tinnitus can have multiple causes, including:
As mentioned, middle ear problems can cause tinnitus. Middle ear problems can include:
When people say they have ringing in the ears, it is most commonly due to inner ear problems. When the inner ear becomes damaged, or during the loss of the tiny hair cells, tinnitus may occur. Oftentimes, the pitch that someone with tinnitus hears coincides with the area of maximum hearing loss.
While it may not always be possible to prevent tinnitus, there are a few things you can do to minimize your chances of developing tinnitus.
In a lot of tinnitus cases, there is no specific treatment for ringing in the ears. However, if your otolaryngologist or tinnitus specialist pinpoints a specific cause for your ear ringing in the ears, there could potentially be a specific treatment to eliminate the noise.
The proper testing includes:
In most cases, however, specific causes for tinnitus are hard to pinpoint. The causes are usually linked to sensory hearing loss. As far as treatment, there is no specific medication for tinnitus. However, there are some medications that may help reduce the noise.
Other times, tinnitus can potentially be treated with:
If your children have tinnitus, the best treatment and prevention method is to educate them regarding excessive noise exposure. It is also a good idea for parents and caregivers to monitor their exposure.
If you have been diagnosed with tinnitus, there are a few tips and strategies you can try. They may help decrease the severity of tinnitus.
Other people cannot typically hear the noises you are hearing. However there is a chance other people can hear the pulsatile tinnitus noises (also called “objective tinnitus”). Objective tinnitus can be caused by either:
Before attempting your own treatment for tinnitus, we highly recommend scheduling your appointment with our otolaryngologist and audiologist at Northeast Atlanta ENT in Johns Creek/Suwanee, Dacula/Hamilton Mill, or Lawrenceville. Feel free to call either of our locations nearest you to schedule an appointment.