Understanding Tinnitus

Tinnitus is an ear problem characterized as a ringing sound that occurs unexpectedly to a person. This happens to everyone. As it manifests, description may vary among those who are experiencing it. To some it may appear as a humming or a ticking sound and may also feel the presence of a pressure in it.

What Causes Tinnitus?

A variety of conditions can lead to tinnitus:

  • Prolonged exposure to loud sounds is the most common cause of tinnitus. 
  • Blockages of the ear due to a buildup of wax, an ear infection, or rarely, a tumor of the nerve that allows us to hear (auditory nerve)
  • A perforated eardrum
  • Certain drugs; aspirin, several types of antibiotics and quinine medications. 
  • Natural aging process can result in a deterioration of the cochlea or other parts of the ear
  • Meniere’s disease, which affects the inner part of the ear
  • Otosclerosis, a disease that results in stiffening of the small bones in the middle ear
  • High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, anemia, allergies and an underactive thyroid gland 
  • Neck or jaw problems, such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome

Symptoms of tinnitus

There are several factors why this occur. Infections are sometimes the reason behind such an occurrence. Generally, this is because of poor hygiene. Oftentimes, this happens as wax in the build up in the ears and is not cleaned in regularly as it captures dirt, which is, ironically, the primary defense of the ear. Insertion of foreign object, can result to ear infection, especially if not treated immediately.

Tinnitus itself can be a symptom or cause to certain diseases and even other things a person may have done or experienced. These problems may lead from the disability to hear properly to hearing loss. Several factors can cause this, namely otologic problems, neurological disorders, substance abuse and ototoxic medications like intake of drugs like aspirin, psychological disorders, metabolic disorders, and even head injuries.

Preventing and Treating Tinnitus

Preventing tinnitus from happening usually requires the use of ear plugs and not exposing oneself to sounds as low as 70 decibels.

As much as possible, it is best that you consult your doctor right away whenever you have been exposed to any of these. Treatment usually varies depending on the diseases or disorders a person has.