“What’s that annoying sound in my ears?” “How can I make that sound go away?”
You may be dealing with tinnitus, a common hearing disorder that manifests sounds in your ears that nobody else can hear, if you find yourself making these types of remarks. You’re not alone. Millions of people have this condition.
Most describe it as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a dial tone, pulsing noise, whistling, or buzzing.
Depending on the severity, ringing in the ears might seem harmless. But there are definitely times when you shouldn’t ignore it. Something more significant might be the root cause of these sounds.
You need to take the following 6 symptoms seriously.
1. The Ringing in Your Ears is Affecting The Quality of Your Life
Some studies demonstrate that 26% of people with tinnitus cope with that ringing on an almost constant basis.
This aggravating, ever-present noise can bring about all kinds of relationship problems, anxiety, insomnia, and even depression.
It can be a battle between the tinnitus noise and something as simple as trying to hear your friend tell you a recipe over the phone. You may snap at your grandchild, who simply asks a question, because the ringing makes you stressed.
Constant ringing can become a vicious cycle. As your stress level rises, the ringing gets louder. Loud noise makes you more nervous and so on.
If tinnitus is leading to these kinds of life challenges, it’s time to address it. It’s real, and it affects your quality of life. There are treatment choices that can significantly reduce or get rid of the noise in your ears.
2. After You Changed Medications, Your Ears Began to Ring
Whether you have chronic back pain or cancer, doctors might try numerous different medications to deal with the same condition. Some of these will have side effects so severe that you might want to ask about alternate options. Contact your doctor and determine what the side effects are if you began experiencing tinnitus symptoms after starting a new medication.
Some common medications may cause tinnitus. These include some kinds of:
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
- Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
- Loop Diuretics
3. It Comes With Blurred Vision, Headache, or Seizures
This normally means that your tinnitus symptoms are being triggered by high blood pressure. The blood flow in your inner ear is compromised when you suffer from hypertension. 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 After You Leave a Gym, Concert, or Work
If you leave a noisy place such as a factory, bar, concert, or fitness class, and you start to hear tinnitus noises, you were probably exposed to unsafe noise levels and that’s most likely the cause of these noises. If you ignore this occasional tinnitus and don’t start to protect your ears, it will likely become constant over time. And it’s frequently accompanied by hearing loss.
If you’re going to be exposed to loud sound, use the following to protect your hearing:
- Not standing too close to the speakers
- At least once every hour, go outside or into the restroom to give your ears a break
- Using earplugs
If you work in a loud place, follow work rules pertaining to earplugs and earmuffs. They’re made to protect you, but they only work if you wear protective gear correctly.
5. You Also Have Facial Paralysis
We hope you wouldn’t dismiss facial paralysis irrespective of whether you have ringing in your ears. But when the tinnitus symptoms are accompanied by headaches, paralysis, 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
Are you experiencing hearing loss that comes and goes? Are you sometimes dizzy? When accompanied by tinnitus, this means you need to be tested for Meniere’s disease. This causes your ears to ears get a fluid imbalance. Your risk of falling due to lack of balance will get worse if this condition is left untreated.
Hearing loss is often signaled by tinnitus. So if you’re experiencing it, you need to have your hearing checked more frequently. Give us a call to make an appointment.