If you’re hearing a constant ringing noise, then you probably have ear ringing tinnitus.
Tinnitus, pronounced “tin-eye-tus” is usually not temporary. Most people at some point in their lives will hear ringing noises, and then they will disappear. This would not be tinnitus. Whistling, roaring, ringing and whooshing noises are the most common complaint for tinnitus, and some sort of hearing loss often accompanies these noises.
Who gets tinnitus?
Tinnitus is most common in men aged 40 and above. It’s estimated that up to 51 million Americans hear ringing noises on a permanent basis, with about one-third of those 65 and above complaining of constant tinnitus. A significant number of those suffering from tinnitus, up to 3 percent, find that the noises they hear are debilitating and negatively affect the quality of their lives.
Those with significant hearing damage often have tinnitus – even those younger than 40. Loud noises are usually to blame for the loss of hearing and the resultant tinnitus. Other hearing damage that can cause tinnitus includes physical damage, disease and drug abuse.
How You Can Stop Ear Ringing Tinnitus For Good
Sometimes, the tinnitus results from a medically treatable condition such as an ear infection or chronic sinus problems. Tumors of the head, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis can cause ringing. Most of these conditions are treatable, and the noises disappear once the root cause has been dealt with.
On the other hand, those with no identifiable causes of tinnitus usually cannot find an outright cure for their ear ringing.
Usually, age and loud noises that damage sensitive parts of the ear (the cochlea) are to blame for the noises. This is called subjective tinnitus.
Serious Problem – or a Nuisance?
Tinnitus is not a disease, it’s merely the result of another problem. Unless you have Meniere’s Disease and balance and other important mobility functions have been affected, then the ringing is really a nuisance or inconvenience. I don’t want to make light of those whose lives have been turned upside-down because of this condition, but tinnitus isn’t a life-threatening condition. But, it most certainly lead to a low-quality of life for some sufferers.
If your ear ringing is caused by a medically-treatable illness, then chances for a cure are good, and you may never think twice about it ever again. Always see your doctor first, to be sure that there is no serious underlying problem. Also, go through your prescription medications – your doctor can usually tell you if any of them cause tinnitus.
Sometimes, even a head or neck injury can cause those awful noises. In extreme cases, chiropractors have been able to reduce or even cure tinnitus by relieving a root cause. While not very common, it can happen. Get it checked out by a professional.
It’s a Noisy World
In today’s active and noisy world it’s very easy to damage the inner ear by being exposed to sudden or constant loud noise. Personal music devices (iPod, Walkman) can be especially damaging to your hearing if the volume is too loud. I remember being at my son’s track meet, and between events, I thought I was hearing some kind of music – even though I was outside. The source of this noise really shocked me – someone listening to music with earplugs 30 feet away had the volume so loud I could hear it well! That person was seriously damaging her ears – and will probably have tinnitus along with hearing loss.
Tinnitus Can Be Debilitating
Most of us with ringing in the ears have learned to ignore the screeching and whistling noises – for the most part. But, there are those whose lives have been wrecked by these noises. Their condition can lead to insomnia (sleeping problems), lack of concentration, marital problems, irritability, depression and fatigue. Since no one can hear another’s ear ringing, it’s difficult for us to judge their level of intensity and volume (and discomfort) – we shouldn’t pass judgment. We should accept their condition and do what we can to help relieve the symptoms.
But, there are ways to help you “acclimate” to your tinnitus, or even reduce those obnoxious noises.
Homeopathic herbal treatments, hypnosis and retraining therapy are just a few of the treatments available to help you with your ear ringing. Some even use what is known as a white noise generator – white noises in the background can often mask the tinnitus, giving some relief to those whose lives are badly affected.
Prevent Ear Ringing – Avoid The Damage
The best way to prevent tinnitus is to avoid damaging your ears. Always wear protection when using excessively loud power tools or attending a loud concert or show. I’ve learned to wear those cheap foam ear inserts to my son’s hockey games – the noise at those games can get painfully loud. When I don’t wear ear protection, I really pay for it afterwords – with a heavy dose of tinnitus even worse than normal.
Some Medications Can Cause Tinnitus
There are some medications,over the counter or doctor prescribed that can cause ear ringing. Aspirin, ibuprofen and other “NSAIDs” have been proven to cause tinnitus. Even large doses of Pepto-Bismol, a digestive system medication, can contribute to ear ringing.
Even large doses of some antibiotics can cause noises.