Are you constantly noticing a low pitched buzzing sound that just doesn’t seem to be going away? Are the conversations you partake in accompanied by a soft humming that you can’t quite put your finger on? Frequent occasions of these symptoms could signal that you are one of 36 million Americans who experience tinnitus, one of the most commonly reported variations of hearing loss.
Common occurrences of hissing and clicking that can range in pitch and volume are the primary signs of developing tinnitus. While the more general cases of symptoms are found to be more of a subtle annoyance, severe development of tinnitus can prove to become extremely disruptive and distracting over time. Tinnitus is commonly mistaken as a disease, but it’s normally the first indication of a progression in hearing loss damage. Although sound goes through the ears, it’s the brain that processes and interprets what noises we are experiencing. Tinnitus can start in the ear and eventually lead its way up to the brain, where disrupted timing of sensory nerves can cause a delayed reaction to sound, also leading to feedback.
While the exact physiological cause of the condition is still up in the air, several triggers are alluded to as evidence for creating tinnitus. Here is a quick overview regarding the origins, symptoms and how to ultimately treat signs of tinnitus.
There are a wide variety of health ailments that can spark cases of tinnitus, some of which have nothing to do with your auditory condition. The following afflictions to the body have been known to produce tinnitus:
- Earwax buildup
- Frequent exposure to loud noises or environments
- Ear or sinus infections
- Heart or brain irregularities
- Head or neck trauma
- Reaction to medicine
In addition to these types of conditions, age- and noise-related hearing loss are the most typical ways your ears can experience tinnitus. Frequent exposure to hearing damaging sound decibels from headphone usage to the occasional rock concert will only increase your likeliness of tinnitus over time.
One of the main reasons that tinnitus often goes undiagnosed or untreated is because it can easily be brushed off as a temporary side effect from a loud noise or piercing environment. Occasions of ringing, clicking and buzzing should never be overlooked, and need to be treated by an audiologist to determine the extent of tinnitus damage you’re experiencing. There are essentially two variations of this condition, which are subjective and objective tinnitus.
Subjective tinnitus is when only you can hear the buzzing or ringing, typically caused by damaged endured to your inner ear or auditory pathways leading toward your brain are being disrupted. This is the most typical form of tinnitus, as well as the most commonly treated. Objective tinnitus is when your doctor can actually hear the tinnitus occurring while performing an examination. A few different predicaments can prompt objective tinnitus, such as muscle contractions, inner ear bone damage or blood vessel complications. This type of tinnitus is usually reported when an individual experiences abrupt dizziness and disorientation.
It’s a regular misconception that tinnitus causes hearing loss, but in reality, it is a more of an accompaniment of hearing damage. If your condition is increasing or not going away, you should seek medical attention or visit an audiologist immediately. Seeing a doctor might provide you a more definitive answer of what’s causing your tinnitus. Sometimes, simply removing some ear wax or getting off a prescribed medicine is all that needs to be done to eliminate the ringing.
There are also wearable sound generators that can help mask your tinnitus by producing more suitable or pleasant sounds that are a tad louder than the humming you are already hearing. Even consuming minerals such as magnesium, zinc and vitamin B have been proven to relieve side effects brought on by tinnitus. Regardless, it’s important to remember that a trip to the audiologist is the best thing you can do when experiencing signs of tinnitus.