Tinnitus is a symptom of a hearing disorder, where the patient hears noises or ringing in their ears. This disorder is quite common and affects one in five people. This symptom can be an underlying cause of ear injury, age-related hearing loss or a disorder of the circulatory system. Tinnitus can worsen with age and most people can alleviate this symptom with treatment.

WHAT DO YOU HEAR WITH TINNITUS?

If you hear noises when no external sound is present, then you have tinnitus. These types of phantom noises are heard:

  1. Hissing
  2. Ringing
  3. Roaring
  4. Buzzing
  5. Clicking

The phantom noise can be anything from a low-pitched roar to a high-pitched squeal. The noise can be heard in one or both ears. The sound can be really loud that can cause you to lose your concentration. The phantom noise can be present from time to time or be present all the time.

WHAT TYPES OF TINNITUS EXIST?

There are two types of this condition. Objective Tinnitus is the symptom that your doctor can hear when they conduct an examination. This is the rarer form of tinnitus, which can be caused by a problem with your blood vessels, muscle contractions or middle-ear-bone condition. Subjective Tinnitus, on the other hand, can only be heard by the patient. This form of tinnitus is the most common and can be caused by problems in your inner, middle or outer ear. It can also be caused by problems with auditory nerves or auditory pathways.

COMMON CAUSES OF TINNITUS

There are varied causes for this phantom noise in your ears. Several health conditions can cause or exacerbate the symptoms of tinnitus. Common conditions that cause tinnitus include:

  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Ear bone changes
  • Earwax blockage
  • TMJ (tempomandibular joint) disorders
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Head and Neck Injuries

Certain medications can also lead to tinnitus such as aspirin, antibiotics, cancer medications, diuretics, some antidepressants and quinine medications. Usually high doses of these medications can worsen the condition.

HOW CAN TINNITUS AFFECT YOUR LIFE?

The quality of your life can reduce with tinnitus as you may experience sleep problems, memory problems, concentration problems, fatigue, depression, memory problems, anxiety and irritability. Therefore, it is best to consult a doctor if you are experiencing problems with hearing.

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