“Why am I hearing a ringing noise in my ears?” “How can I make that noise go away?”
You may be suffering from tinnitus, a common hearing condition that manifests noises in your ears that no one else can hear, if you find yourself making these types of statements. You’re not alone. Tinnitus is a condition that impacts millions of people.
Most describe it as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a dial tone, pulsing noise, buzzing, or whistling.
Ringing in the ears might seem harmless, depending on its severity. But there are absolutely times when you shouldn’t ignore it. Something more significant might be the underlying cause of these sounds.
You need to take the following 6 symptoms seriously.
1. Your Quality of Life is Being Affected by The Ringing in Your Ears
26% of people who suffer from tinnitus experience symptoms constantly, according to some studies.
This aggravating, ever-present noise can result in all kinds of relationship issues, anxiety, insomnia, and even depression.
Something as basic as listening to your daughter share a recipe on the phone becomes a struggle between her voice and the noise that overpowers it. You might snap at your grandson, who asks a simple question, because the ringing makes you stressed.
A vicious cycle can be the result of this constant ringing. As your stress level goes up, the ringing gets louder. And you get more anxious the louder the noise is and on and on.
If tinnitus is leading to these kinds of life challenges, it’s time to address it. It’s real, and it affects your quality of life. The noise can be reduced or eliminated with available treatment choices.
2. After You Changed Medications, Your Ears Began to Ring
Whether you have persistent back pain or cancer, doctors might try several different medications to treat the same ailment. Some of these will have side effects so significant that you may want to ask about alternatives. If your tinnitus started or got significantly worse after you started a new drug, check that list of side effects and speak with your doctor.
Tinnitus may be caused by some common medications. Here are a few examples:
- Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
- Loop Diuretics
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
3. It’s Accompanied by Headache, Blurred Vision, or Seizures
This may be a sign that high blood pressure is contributing to your tinnitus. When you have hypertension, the blood flow to your inner ear is compromised. Unregulated high blood pressure is also dangerous for your total health. Age related hearing loss, as time passes, will get worse because of this.
4. You Only Hear it When Leaving a Concert, Gym, or Work
If you leave a noisy place like a bar, concert, factory, or fitness class, and you start to hear tinnitus noises, you were probably exposed to unsafe levels of noise and that’s most likely the cause of these noises. If you ignore this occasional tinnitus and don’t start to protect your ears, it will most likely become permanent over time. And hearing loss will usually accompany it.
If you are going to be exposed to loud noise, use the following to safeguard your hearing:
- Using earplugs
- Standing a bit further away from loud speakers
- At least once an hour, step outside or into the restroom to give your ears a break
If you work in a noisy environment, adhere to work rules pertaining to earmuffs and earplugs. They’re designed to protect you, but they only work if you use protective gear correctly.
5. You Also Have Facial Paralysis
Whether you have ringing in your ears or not, you should never disregard facial paralysis. But when you have paralysis, nausea, headaches, and you also have tinnitus, it’s possible that you may have an acoustic neuroma (a slow growing benign brain tumor).
6. You Experience Fluctuating Hearing Loss With it
Are you experiencing hearing loss that comes and goes? Are you sometimes dizzy? If these symptoms are occurring along with tinnitus, you may need to get evaluated for Menier’s disease. This leads to a fluid imbalance in your ears. Your risk of falling caused by lack of balance will worsen if this disorder is left untreated.
Tinnitus is frequently a sign of hearing loss. So if you are experiencing it, you need to get your hearing checked more frequently. Call us to set up an appointment.