Understanding Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a hearing condition where a person experiences a ringing sensation in the ears in the absence of external sound. Other hearing sensations that may be associated with tinnitus include hearing buzzing, hissing, chirping or whistling sounds inside the ears for no apparent reason or from no visible source.

Causes of tinnitus

One of the most common causes of tinnitus is prolonged exposure to very loud sounds. The loud sounds can cause permanent damage to the sound sensitive cells inside the ear. Tinnitus can also be caused by certain drugs such as analgesics, antibiotics, and antiviral drugs. An ear infection can also be a possible cause of tinnitus.

Symptoms of tinnitus

The most prominent symptom of tinnitus is the ringing that one hears from no apparent source. That is why the condition is also commonly called as ringing in the ears. But other types of sounds may also be experienced by other people with tinnitus apart from ringing sounds such as hissing, buzzing or whistling sounds not coming from any external source.

How tinnitus is diagnosed?

Diagnosis for tinnitus may require a person to undergo an audiological exam to measure the ability to determine certain sounds. Physical examination of the ear itself may also help doctors in diagnosing the underlying cause of the condition. Other means to possibly diagnose tinnitus may include taking X-rays as well as Ct and MRI scans.

How to prevent tinnitus?

Since tinnitus can be caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises, use of hearing protection such as ear plugs can help prevent damage to the ears that may cause such a condition. This is especially important for people whose work may involve being exposed to such noises for long periods of time.

How to treat tinnitus?

Treatment for tinnitus may depend on the underlying causes of the condition. Treatment may also be associated with the symptoms being shown. Some of the more common treatments for tinnitus include earwax removal, medication changes, noise suppressing treatments as well as the use of devices such as hearing aids and masking devices.