Why Are My Ears Ringing, and What is Tinnitus?
The condition known as Tinnitus, or “ringing in the ears,” can take on several forms. A common form sounds like high-toned ringing that overlays your regular hearing. Tinnitus can also result in a whooshing noise in your ears, or is sometimes even described as a roar. Some people say they hear an annoying chirping sound or buzz. Whatever form of Tinnitus is experienced, these extra “sounds” in your ears can be frustrating to deal with in daily life. Tinnitus is defined as a sound heard inside the ears or head that is not present in the surrounding environment.
Many people first experience Tinnitus as a temporary surge of ringing in the ears after attending a noisy event such as a rock concert or auto race. These symptoms resemble long-term Tinnitus and might last a few hours to even a couple days. The ringing in your ears that results from exposure to loud or sudden noise is actually a warning sign that your hearing could have been damaged in some way.
It’s important to keep in mind that Tinnitus is not always caused by exposure to loud noise. Equally as important to understand is that the condition isn’t necessarily always associated with permanent hearing loss. There may be multiple factors contributing to the condition known as Tinnitus, but rest assured, you’re far from alone in your experience.
What Causes Tinnitus?
You might be surprised to learn that Tinnitus is often a symptom of your brain working overtime. Your ears might be ringing due to:
- A physical or even emotional condition, especially stress
- An underlying hearing loss condition resulting from persistent, frequently occurring Tinnitus
- An issue in the middle ear such as wax build up or fluid
- Underlying hearing loss
- Certain medication
Tinnitus due to hearing loss is thought to occur when your mind is trying to make up the difference for a reduced ability to hear. Your brain tries to compensate for reduced hearing capacity by turning up the volume in other ways. This is a subtle process, a bit like the static or hissing noise made by a stereo system when electrical feedback is coming through the wires to the speakers. If the feedback gets too loud, it can overwhelm your ability to concentrate.
For any hearing concerns, Tinnitus or otherwise, it’s imperative you visit your doctor or local hearing healthcare professional to determine any physical or emotional factors that could be contributing to your condition.
At HearingPlanet, we know the providers in your area and can direct you to the right one.
What Do We Know About Tinnitus?
Millions of people experience symptoms of Tinnitus in their hearing.
FACT: The U.S. National Library of Medicine estimates that between 10 - 20% of the American population have persistent or chronic Tinnitus.
FACT : Of those affected, about 80% actually have some form of underlying hearing loss.
The prevalence of tinnitus, and the stats that go along with it, definitely demonstrate the importance of having your hearing checked if you’re experiencing ringing in the ears.
FACT: 3% of those affected by Tinnitus require medical attention at some point.
If you’re experiencing any form of ringing in your ears, it’s important to have your hearing checked. It’s alarming how many people will live with this condition without seeing a doctor.
FACT: Only 6% of those experiencing Tinnitus actually seek help in treating their condition.
It’s important to keep in mind that Tinnitus, can be managed effectively, resulting in a return to normal life and the enjoyment that comes with experiencing a world full of vibrant sounds.
If you’re experiencing ringing or buzzing in your ears, an important first step is to get your hearing checked to learn if the sensation you’re hearing is in fact an indication of a hearing loss condition.
How Do Hearing Aids Help With Tinnitus?
Treating any health issue such as Tinnitus or hearing loss is a matter of becoming informed about your specific hearing challenges. The best way to do this is through testing by a physician, qualified audiologist or hearing healthcare professional. If hearing loss is evident and it’s contributing to the sensation of Tinnitus, the use of hearing aids may be one of the best methods for coping.
How can hearing aids help? Hearing aids work to manage Tinnitus with or without hearing loss. Amplification may be a potential solution to achieving relief from Tinnitus.
- The use of hearing aids may deliver sound to the ears that are not picking up enough sound on their own.
- Amplification of sound takes pressure off the ears and brain so that you don’t have to strain to hear common sounds or struggle to hear conversations. This includes reduction of conditions such as Tinnitus that can be distracting in all sorts of hearing environments.
- In some instances, when amplification from the hearing aids is not sufficient there are certain hearing aids that have tinnitus management programs specifically designed for management
FACT: Between 60-75% of patients in separate studies reported either frequent or sustained relief from Tinnitus by using hearing aids. These same patients also reported increased or improved hearing as a result of using hearing aids.
Do You Want to Talk About Tinnitus?
Every day at HearingPlanet, we talk to all kinds of people about their challenges associated with hearing loss and tinnitus.
It’s our mission to help you find the right solution.
If you’re experiencing Tinnitus, don’t wait. Call us today at (888) 803-7407 to get connected with your own Personal Hearing Consultant. We’ll work with you to develop a personalized Hearing Profile that outlines your lifestyle, expectations, and communication needs.