Taking care of your hearing is of the utmost importance. Tinnitus, which is known as a ringing sensation in the ears, is more common than you may think. It is estimated that approximately 20% of the population experiences tinnitus at one level or another. It’s also important to know that tinnitus isn’t a diagnosis. Instead, it’s a symptom of an underlying issue.
What is Tinnitus
Tinnitus is usually a symptom of a more severe condition. It’s an indicator that there is damage to your inner ear or the auditory system. While most commonly associated with hearing loss, there can be other underlying health issues involved.
Some tinnitus is temporary, while other cases are long-term. Additionally, different people will experience different tones and volumes of the ringing or humming. Some people will find that it disrupts their lives daily while others are hardly bothered by it. Regardless of how mild or severe the tinnitus may be, it’s essential to seek the necessary help so that you can address the underlying issues of this symptom.
The Types of Tinnitus
The reality is that you have likely experienced tinnitus at one point in your life or another. There may be primary or secondary tinnitus going on – and the hearing test will make it easier to identify this.
Spontaneous tinnitus is something that everyone experiences. This is a normal phenomenon that lasts for less than 30 seconds. In most instances, it goes unnoticed.
- Temporary tinnitus is often related to a specific event, such as working with heavy machinery or going to a concert.
- Occasional tinnitus is something that can happen over months and occurs every few weeks.
- Intermittent tinnitus occurs daily over a few weeks.
- Then, there is constant tinnitus, which means that you have the ringing in your ears always.
Understanding the severity of the tinnitus will make it easier to diagnose and get you the help that you need correctly. Depending on just how severe it is, it can have a significant influence on your ability to concentrate. You may struggle with sleep, following conversations, and find yourself more irritable due to excess anxiety and stress.
The Causes Behind Tinnitus
Hearing loss is one of the most common causes of tinnitus. If you are experiencing a ringing in your ears, it’s essential to schedule an appointment with us to assess the various symptoms that you have going on. Some of the most common causes of tinnitus include:
- Hearing loss
- Ear obstructions/pressure changes
- Traumatic injury to head or neck
- Dental issues
- Ototoxic medications
Age-related hearing loss is one of the most common causes. As we age, our hearing declines, which can result in tinnitus.
Further, what you do on a day-to-day basis may be causing the ringing. If you expose yourself to loud noises regularly, it may lead you down the road to hearing loss. Identifying this issue early on will make it easier for you to protect your hearing using various forms of personal protective equipment.
When you schedule an appointment for a hearing test with us, we will talk to you about your lifestyle and get to know you a little bit better. From there, we will do a physical exam where we will look in your ear and then perform a series of hearing tests. This will make it easier to understand the cause of the ringing as well as what can be done to protect your hearing for the future.
There are a few different available treatment options. It is necessary to treat the underlying cause, though, in some instances, tinnitus may be a sign of permanent damage. This doesn’t mean that there are no options, however. It merely means that you may have to explore a few different options. The American Tinnitus Association, for example, finds that 60% of patients find at least some relief when they use hearing aids.
Some of the other treatment options include:
- Socializing (to avoid isolation)
- Physical activity (to reduce stress)
- Sound therapy
Additionally, there are things that you can do to prevent tinnitus. This involves protecting your ears when you are going to be in areas where there are loud noises, such as factories and concerts. Use earplugs and various other forms of protecting your hearing when you are going to be where there are loud noises. You should also make sure to keep headphone volume low. If people can hear the music on the other side of your headphones, the volume is too loud – putting you at unnecessary risk for tinnitus.
At Celestial Hearing Solutions, we have been working with many of the residents of Las Cruces to provide hearing care. If you’re struggling with hearing loss and want to know more about tinnitus, contact us today to book a hearing test.
Paula C. Rogers, BC-HIS is a Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist and has been helping people to restore and care for their hearing health for over 30 years. You’ll experience the warmth and loving care of Paula and her team who will become your hearing care partners for life at their Las Cruces Hearing Center.