Tinnitus Causes: What Causes Ringing in The Ears?
Tinnitus is a very common condition and is believed to affect around 300 million people in the world. In simple terms, it is the hearing of sounds that have no external source, and it is usually a symptom of an underlying condition. Tinnitus can appear suddenly or increase in severity over time. In many cases, treating the underlying issue can result in an improvement in terms of the unfounded noises. This treatment can take many forms, from the use of hearing aids to taking antibiotics to treat infections or adding tinnitus-fighting Vitamins to your diet.
Tinnitus is often associated with a ringing in your ears, but you can actually hear all sorts of different sounds. You may hear buzzing or humming that may come or go or be continually there, and some people can even hear music, a condition known as musical tinnitus or hallucination.
You may hear the noises in one or both ears, and it can occur in people of all ages. It is most common in people with other hearing problems, although it can also affect you if you have normal hearing.
What causes tinnitus?
It can be hard to find the exact cause of tinnitus, although medical professionals generally agree that it is the result of some kind of change. This could be either physical or mental and does not have to be related to your ear. In fact, tinnitus is not actually an illness or disease in itself. It is usually a symptom of another underlying condition or problem.
A change in your body’s systems and processes can result in a change to what information the ears send to the brain, and this can result in extra, unnecessary information being sent. These are the sounds associated with tinnitus. This means that tinnitus is actually a result of brain activity rather than being produced by your ear. This is why tinnitus can be caused by mental alterations such as stress, as well as physical changes. Some of these potential causes include:
Over time, delicate hair cells contained within your inner ear can reduce in number. This can be caused by general wear and tear and can lead to hearing loss. This, in turn, can make the symptoms of tinnitus more noticeable because they are not being masked as much by external sounds. Addressing the hearing loss, therefore, such as with the use of a hearing aid such as the HearIQ 4 App-Controlled Hearing Aid, can result in less noticeable tinnitus symptoms.
Loud Noise Exposure
Exposure to loud noises can result in hair cell damage leading to tinnitus. This can be persistent loud noises over a long period of time or the effects of more short-term noises. This cause is one of the reasons that around 1.9 million veterans in the U.S. claim compensation for tinnitus.
Anxiety and stress
It is not necessarily clear whether stress itself can lead to the onset of tinnitus. It is agreed, however, that tinnitus can be much more noticeable at times when you are not feeling your best and have increased levels of stress or anxiety. This is why effective stress management can really complement efforts to reduce the effects of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and hearing loss can result from middle ear infections. This usually means the symptoms are temporary, although you may need medical help to treat the underlying infection. Always see your medical provider if you have ear issues that don't go away.
Ear wax buildup
This is a common cause of tinnitus and results from wax building up in the ear rather than falling out as it should. Many people do not need to clean their ears as they should be naturally self-cleaning, but this is not always the case. Fortunately, this can be easily solved for most people with the help of products such as the Innerscope Ear Spray Cleaner.
This is a rare disorder that can affect your inner ear leading to excess pressure, hearing loss, vertigo, and tinnitus.
This usually affects children and is known officially as otitis media with effusion. The condition results from a buildup of fluid within the inner ear.
A burst ear drum can result in pressure changes, infections, and over-exposure to noise. This can result in tinnitus symptoms.
This is the most likely cause of progressive deafness affecting young adults.
Other possible causes
Less common causes of tinnitus include blood flow changes, head injuries, reactions to medication, growths affecting your hearing nerve, thyroid issues, and diabetes.