I sometimes hear ringing in my ears, is that normal? No, it is not entirely normal. These types of sounds inside the head are generally referred to as tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and they are quite frequent. Tinnitus may occur from time to time, or you may hear a continuous sound. It could be a very low pitched or a very high pitched sound. You could hear it in a single ear only, or in both ears. When ringing is constant, this could make the person very uncomfortable. Moreover, this discomfort could reach a level that affects regular lives of the people who experience it.
CAN OTHER PEOPLE HEAR THESE SOUNDS IN MY EAR?
This does not happen very often, but in some cases the person who listens to may hear a kind of sound. This type of tinnitus is called objective tinnitus. Objective tinnitus is mostly caused either by a vascular abnormality or the sounds that occur in the middle ear due to the contraction of muscles.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT TINNITUS (RINGING)
What Causes Tinnitus?
Subjective tinnitus which is heard only by the patient has many possible causes. Some causes are not malign .(e.g. ear wax can temporality cause tinnitus) Besides, there might be important factors such as, infection, perforation of the tympanic membrane, fluid accumulation in the middle ear, hardening of the joints of the bones in the middle ear can be more important factors. Tinnitus may be caused by blood vessel enlargement (aneurysm) in the head and neck or may be due to a tumour arising from the balance and hearing nerves. There is also hearing loss in these problems. Allergy, high or low blood pressure, a tumour, diabetes, thyroid problems, blows to the head and neck and many other reasons: some rheumatic drugs, some antibiotics, sedatives, and aspirin may cause tinnitus. The treatment is very different for each case. Therefore, it is important to get checked by a physician who is specialized in this matter and to detect the actual cause of tinnitus.
Tinnitus is often developed due to damages occurring at the ends of the hearing nerves which are too small as to be seen under microscope. The health of these nerve endings ensures correct and accurate hearing. And any damage that takes place there leads to hearing loss and tinnitus. Some changes in the nerve endings occur with age and that brings along with tinnitus. In today’s world, the most common cause of tinnitus is probably high volume, and it causes hearing loss too. Unfortunately, many people are either unaware or they do not care how much industrial noise, fire alarms, listening to loud music, and other noises are harmful. Listening to loud music with stereo headphones further enhances the risk.
What is the treatment for tinnitus (Ringingin the ears)?
In the majority of cases of ringing, there is no specific treatment. If your doctor finds the real cause of ringing in the ear, as a result of the treatments to eliminate this reason, ringing in your ear disappears. For this, some X-rays and balance tests may be required. Despite this, most of the time the cause of tinnitus cannot be identified. Although the cause is not determined, some drugs can still help in some cases. There are many medications used. The patient is usually recommended to take medications and is asked whether there is any improvement.
Can Anything Be Done For The Reduction Of Tinnitus If No Cause Is Identified?
Yes, that can be done. The following things that are recommended or prohibited will help you to reduce your tinnitus. First of all, it should be remembered that the auditory system is the body’s most delicate and fragile system. Therefore, below are the recommended measures. Avoid exposure to loud music. Have your blood pressure to be constantly checked. Contact your doctor for it to be under control. Limit your intake of salt. (Excess salt will impair your circulatory system.) Stay away from salty foods and do not add salt to your meal. Stay away from coffee, coke, and smoking which stimulate your nervous system. Daily exercises regulate your blood flow. Get enough rest and avoid being very tired. Do not worry about the sound. Your ear ringing would not cause you to become deaf or to lose your mental health. Accept these sounds as a disturbing yet trivial fact and learn how to ignore them. This type of control can be achieved either by self-control or the method of masking. Minimize your nervousness and stress.
What is masking? What does tinnitus-masking mean?
Tinnitus is particularly disturbing when environment is silent and while sleeping. A sound, such as a clock ticking or a radio, may balance tinnitus and relieve the discomfort. Some physicians are recommending listening to FM channels in low volume: Many patients report that they find it useful to listen to the sound in between two stations of an unadjusted radio in low volume. Such a static sound may be quite comforting. This sound is referred to as white noise. Some patients use electronic devices that produce relieving noises. Tinnitus masker is a small electronic component built or inserted into the hearing instrument. It helps the patient to forget ringing in the ears by producing continuous but non-annoying sounds.
Do hearing instruments reduce ringing in the ears?
It is rumored that devices used by some people with hearing disorders reduce or entirely eliminate ringing in the ears. However, a careful operation should be carried on if the hearing instrument will solely be used for the purpose of preventing tinnitus. Usually, ringing in the ears goes back to its initial state when the hearing instrument is removed.
You should definitely be examined by our Ear Nose Throat specialist before beginning a treatment for your ringing in the ears.