Tinnitus

Tinnitus: How it Causes Ear Ringing (and How to Treat It)

Share this information:

Share on whatsapp
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Table of Contents

Tinnitus is a common condition that causes ringing in the ears. It can affect anyone and is not the result of any particular lifestyle or health condition; around 1 in 5 people are affected globally by this disorder.

Though doctors are not sure what actually causes this condition, it can be caused by many different things, including age, noise exposure, earwax buildup, drugs or alcohol use.

Tinnitus also increases your risk for hearing loss and other health problems. In this article, we will discuss some of its common symptoms and treatment options to help you find relief from ear pain.

What is tinnitus and how does it cause ear ringing

Tinnitus is a common condition that causes ringing in the ears. It affects about 15-20% of adults, and it can be caused by many different things, including age (especially after 65), noise exposure, earwax buildup, drugs or alcohol use.

The following are some possible causes:

  • Age
  • Noise exposure
  • Earwax build-up
  • Drugs or alcohol use

The ringing in the ears are probably what is commonly known as Tinnitus. Usually this condition is not debilitating. But for some it is very disturbing.

DR BARRIE TAN
EAR, NOSE, THROAT (ENT) SPECIALIST
(GLENEAGLES HOSPITAL SINGAPORE)

How to diagnose tinnitus

There are several ways to find out if you have tinnitus. The most common symptoms include hearing ringing, buzzing, or hissing in the ears. You might also feel like you have earwax buildup and your sound may seem muffled.

One way to diagnose it is through an otoscope examination (a doctor will look into your ear using a small flashlight).

Another way that doctors use to find out if you have tinnitus is by conducting a hearing test with more sensitive equipment than what we usually use for people without this condition.

Symptoms of tinnitus

The clearest, tell-tale sign that you may have tinnitus is hearing ringing in your ears. But there are also other common symptoms, such as:

  • A ringing sound that is constant in the ear or fluctuates
  • Difficulty hearing other sounds
  • Ringing, buzzing, rustling noise

For many people with this health condition, it’s an annoying but completely harmless condition. But for some sufferers, this can cause problems such as anxiety and depression-related issues brought on by tinnitus, difficulty sleeping due to a more intense ringing tone at night time, and sometimes physical pain from pressure changes caused by the increased volume.

The medical community does not know what causes this condition. They are continuing research into possible underlying factors. Treating your symptoms will often help you cope better with them.

Treatment for tinnitus – medications, lifestyle changes, hearing aids

Hearing aids can make sounds louder so it’s easier to hear them. Some people may be helped by using earplugs; however, you must not let your tinnitus serve as an excuse for avoiding noisy situations because that will only worsen it,” writes Dr. Sarno in his article on “How To Cope With A Constant Rumbling In Your Ears”.

You can also ask a specialist about medication and counseling therapy to help with issues brought on by this health condition. Your doctor will work closely with you in determining which treatments are best suited for your needs.

The following are some treatment guidelines from the American Academy of Otolaryngology: Tinnitus sufferers should avoid alcohol and sedatives. You can also use earplugs or a white noise machine to help you sleep.

Most times, tinnitus tends to fade into the background after a few months. For those in which the tinnitus does not subside, there are various therapies such as masking therapy, the use of hearing aids, acupuncture as well as some medications that may be of some benefit to a few patients.

DR BARRIE TAN
Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) Specialist
(Gleneagles Hospital Singapore)

Prevention of future episodes of tinnitus

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Some of the best ways to prevent getting tinnitus are:

  • Avoid noise
  • Wear ear protection when working in loud environments
  • Quit smoking

Doctors recommend that tinnitus sufferers should avoid alcohol and sedatives. You can also use earplugs or a white noise machine to help you sleep.

Tips for living with tinnitus as a chronic condition (e.g., managing stress)

Tinnitus is by no means debilitating and most people with this condition are able to live normal lives. Below are some tips for living with tinnitus:

  • Make sure you have a quiet environment
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle (e.g., exercise, diet)
  • Try to be as active and productive as possible on days when your ear ringing is not too bad

Ear ringing due to tinnitus can be troubling but it does not need to rule your life if you follow the advice of an ear, nose, throat (ENT) specialist doctor.

Takeaway message about the importance of prevention and treating early on in the development process

You can make lifestyle changes to prevent getting tinnitus. But if you suspect you may have it, don’t self-diagnose. Instead, consult with a specialist through Smarter Health.

Doctors will start with the best treatment options for tinnitus, which are typically the least invasive – such as sound therapy or counseling.

If you have been living with this condition, doctors may prescribe medications if necessary. This is because some people experience pain in their ears when they hear sounds that produce a high-pitched tone like those made by sandpaper rubbing against wood.

This condition is called hyperacusis. Some of these treatments can be done at home while others require specialized equipment not available over-the-counter.

Conclusion

Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, can be a frustrating condition. If you suspect that you have tinnitus early diagnosis is important to help rule out other conditions like Meniere’s disease.

Getting an accurate diagnosis will allow your doctor to provide treatment options that may alleviate some of the symptoms.

There are some ways to prevent tinnitus from worsening with age, such as avoiding loud sounds like concerts or using earplugs when going out on noisy nights.

But early diagnosis will help if you suspect that you have tinnitus because treatments may work better before the problem becomes chronic (ongoing). Get in touch with SmarterHealth today to see how we can help!

Share this information:

Share on whatsapp
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Featured Specialist Doctors

Related Health Articles

Leave a Comment

Your compare list

Compare
REMOVE ALL
COMPARE
0