“Why do I hear a ringing noise in my ears?” “How can I make that noise go away?”
You could be suffering from tinnitus, a common hearing disorder that manifests noises in your ears that no one else can hear, if you find yourself making these kinds of remarks. You’re not by yourself. Tinnitus is a condition that impacts millions of people.
Most describe it as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a dial tone, pulsing noise, buzzing, or whistling.
Depending on the severity, ringing in the ears might seem harmless. But tinnitus shouldn’t always be neglected. Tinnitus symptoms can frequently be a sign of something more significant taking place in your body.
You should take the following 6 symptoms seriously.
1. The Ringing in Your Ears is Affecting The Quality of Your Life
Some research suggests that 26% of tinnitus sufferers experience that ringing on a nearly continuous basis.
Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and relationship problems are all possible outcomes of this ever present ringing.
Something as easy as listening to your daughter share a recipe over the phone becomes a battle between her voice and the noise that overshadows it. The nonstop ringing has stressed you out to the point where you snap at a family member who simply asks you a question.
Constant ringing can become a vicious cycle. The ringing gets louder as your stress level goes up. Loud noise makes you more nervous and so on.
If tinnitus is causing these kinds of life challenges, it’s time to address it. It’s real, and it impacts your quality of life. There are treatment options that can considerably reduce or eliminate the noise in your ears.
2. The Noise in Your Ears Manifests After You Switch Medications
Doctors might try numerous different medications to manage the same condition whether you have chronic pain or cancer. You may ask for a different option if you start to experience severe side effects. If your tinnitus started or got significantly worse after you started a new medication, look at that list of side effects and talk to your doctor.
Tinnitus might be caused by some common medications. Here are a few examples:
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
- Loop Diuretics
- Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
3. It’s Accompanied by Headache, Blurred Vision, or Seizures
This might be a sign that high blood pressure is causing your tinnitus. When you have hypertension, the blood flow to your inner ear is restricted. Your general health is also at risk with high blood pressure. Over time, it may cause or worsen age-related hearing loss.
4. You Only Hear it When Leaving a Gym, Concert, or Work
If you only hear the tinnitus after you leave a noisy place such as a concert, aerobics class, factory, or bar, then the place you just left had noise levels above safe levels. It becomes increasingly likely that these noises will become permanent the more frequently you ignore them and skip using ear protection. And hearing loss will probably accompany it.
If you’re going to be exposed to loud noise, use the following to safeguard your hearing:
- Giving your ears a regular break by stepping outside or into the restroom, if possible, at least once every hour
- Wearing earplugs
- Standing a little further away from loud speakers
If you work in a noisy place, adhere to work rules pertaining to earmuffs and earplugs. Your safety gear will only successfully protect you if you use it correctly.
5. You Also Have Facial Paralysis
Whether you have ringing in your ears or not, you should never ignore facial paralysis. But when the tinnitus symptoms are accompanied by paralysis, headaches, and nausea, this may be a sign of a slow-growing benign brain tumor called an acoustic neuroma.
6. Fluctuating Hearing Loss is Accompanying Tinnitus
Do you have hearing loss that seems to get worse, then get better, then worse again? Are you sometimes dizzy? When accompanied by tinnitus, this means you need to be tested for Meniere’s disease. This causes a fluid imbalance in your ears. Your risk of falling caused by lack of balance will worsen if this condition is left untreated.
Tinnitus is often a sign of hearing loss. So if you’re experiencing it, you should have your hearing examined more frequently. Contact us to make an appointment.