Understanding Tinnitus: Causes, Diagnosis and Relief
Tinnitus is often called ringing in the ear. As the name suggests, it as a sensation of hearing sounds that are not triggered by an external factor. Rather, it usually comes from inside the head.
Tinnitus is often called ringing in the ear. As the name suggests, it as a sensation of hearing sounds that are not triggered by an external factor. Rather, it usually comes from inside the head. Sounds heard by a person experiencing Tinnitus may vary. The most common is ringing, hence the alternative name for the condition, but it can also be buzzing, hissing, chirping, whistling, or other sounds. Read through the end of this article to know about the causes, diagnosis of your condition, and Tinnitus relief.
Length of sound may vary from one condition to another — it can be intermittent or continuous. Loudness and pitch can fluctuate too, but is often more apparent when the environment is quiet, which usually bothers patients at night.
What are the Common Causes of Tinnitus?
- The most common cause of Tinnitus is prolonged exposure to loud noises. That’s why people whose jobs require handling loud devices are at risk of this condition.
- Wax buildup or ear infection that may cause a blockage to the ear.
- Damage in the cochlea, which acts as the sound receiver of the ears. This is often associated with aging.
- Meniere's Disease, vertigo, and other medical conditions that affect the functionality of the ear.
- Drugs that have Tinnitus as a side effect. You may check the label or consult with your healthcare provider to confirm.
Diagnosing Your Condition
While Tinnitus is generally common, it can lead to a more serious or permanent condition when left untreated. If you notice ringing sounds in your ear persistently, especially if it has already been interfering with your daily tasks and hindering you from being productive, don’t wait any longer before you consult a with hearing healthcare professional.
Prepare to answer questions such as follows:
- Which of your ears are affected? Left, right, or both?
- Does it occur continuously or does it happen irregularly?
- Since when have you been experiencing ringing sensations in your ear?
- What other symptoms have you been noticing? Hearing loss? Vertigo?
- Are you taking any medications right now?
Your healthcare professional may examine your ear for wax build up, or have you take examinations such as hearing test or blood test to see if you have any related medical condition.
Contrary to the popular claims, there is really no clinically proven permanent cure yet for Tinnitus. Although, there are several ways that we can recommend to help you cope and keep your condition at bay.
- Create a sleeping playlist. Tinnitus can be more bothersome as the environment becomes less noisy. Try listening to soothing sounds when you go to bed to help you distract yourself from the ringing sound.
- Stop smoking, if you are doing so. This can worsen your condition.
- Relax and get enough sleep. Stress can also worsen Tinnitus. Try as much as you can to avoid it.
- Avoid loud noises. Again, this can aggravate your condition.
- Be healthy and work on treating your other medical conditions.
- Get yourself a Tinnitus Control Instrument (TCI). In most instances, Tinnitus is also a symptom of hearing loss. With the hearing component of TCI, auditory deprivation issues are addressed. It also has a noiser component that provides soft noise in times when amplification is not enough to relieve the feeling of patient.
Listening Lab is the leading expert on hearing care in Singapore and Malaysia. We offer accurate hearing evaluation and a range of TCI devices for patients who need help with Tinnitus relief.
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