Tinnitus: Breaking Down Everything You Need To Know

Tinnitus: Breaking Down Everything You Need To Know

Whether you’re getting old or just went through a traumatic accident, your ears tend to be the number one part of your body that endures some impact.

Sometimes you don’t think that any of the activities you pursued when you’re young will negatively impact your life when you’re older, but it can happen and pop up in the form of tinnitus.

Woman with tinnitus.

Keep reading for more information about tinnitus.

What Is Tinnitus?

A person who often complains about hearing a ringing sound in the ears, it's highly likely that they have tinnitus. These sounds will range from clicking, to hissing, to even whistling sounds. Keep in mind that these noises are not related to any psychiatric condition.

For those who never have never experienced this, let us help you understand. Imagine that you hear a constant buzzing or ringing sound in your ear at a non-stop pace. This means that for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you have to put up with a sound that’s only heard by you.

That high pitch sound in ear does not come from any external force but don't worry because it's not a figment of your imagination either. At any point in time, this noise can be heard anywhere from on to two ears to even inside your head.

In regards to how long tinnitus can last, it entirely depends on the person. Some cases of tinnitus can be temporary, while others have to endure tinnitus at a chronic level.

Who Has Tinnitus?

In America alone, tinnitus has been estimated to affect around 50 million individuals. Those who are over the age of 50 have to fear about developing signs of tinnitus seems to affect this age range largely.

There are some more frequent cases as of late that have adolescents and children experiencing signs of tinnitus as well.

What Are The Negative Effects Of Tinnitus?

Some individuals who have a persistent form of tinnitus, it may lead to difficulty concentrating, subpar performance in the work environment, insomnia, depression, irritability, and anxiety.

Man with bells around his head - tinnitus.

Those with chronic tinnitus typically end up adjusting to the ringing noise as time passes by. However, every one in five people will find the ringing noise always to be disrupting.

Tinnitus Symptoms

Tinnitus has distinct characteristics that can affect one or both ears. Every person diagnosed with tinnitus has reported different sounds every time they noticed their ears picking up a sound that came from no external source.

List Of Different Sounds

  • Whistling
  • Screeching
  • Clicking
  • Roaring
  • Static
  • Buzzing
  • Whooshing
  • Chirping
  • Ringing

Not only do the sounds change, but also the volume of the sound itself. In fact, it is well known that the volume can fluctuate based on different times of the day. You'll notice how during the night, when it's really quiet around you, that the sound will be much more noticeable than during the noisy daytime.

Because of this range in volume, it’s common to witness people with tinnitus also have to deal with a degree of hearing loss.

The majority of tinnitus frequencies average in at 8,000 hertz, but scientists are still completing studies regarding the matter.  This means that after being exposed to a loud high pitched noise, your chances of experiencing both tinnitus and hearing loss is multiplied.              

Tinnitus Causes

More often than not, tinnitus is easily caused by prolonged exposure to noise.

For example, those who work in a noisy environment for many years without wearing specialized protective gear are more prone to develop some hearing problem that emerges in the form of tinnitus or even hearing loss.

Triangle making noise next to a man's ear.

Sometimes leisure activities you normally assume would not harm your body may also trigger tinnitus. As music has become more accessible, you now have the opportunity to listen to it for longer time periods than before.

A major cause of tinnitus in adults has been listening to their MP3 players frequently when they were young. Those who were in a band or pursued a music career that involved constant exposure to sound also remain at risk for developing tinnitus later on in their life.

All those rock idols from the 1980's now suffer from tinnitus since they spent years of their life in front of large loudspeakers without any hearing protection.

People who commonly go to concerts end up being exposed to high noise levels that can severely impact your ability to hear as you age. Doctor's always recommend to wear ear plugs when attending such concerts because so the noise levels don't do any detrimental damage.

A common trend seems to be that anyone can suffer from tinnitus as long as they expose themselves to a loud environment for extensive time frames. It's always a good idea to carry around with you a pair of earplugs because you never know when they can come in handy.

Scientific Approach

90 percent of the time that people receive a tinnitus diagnosis, they will have had some level of hearing loss that is noise-induced. The loud noise causes irreparable damage to cells part of the cochlea that is sound-sensitive.

Other Issues That Can Lead To Tinnitus

  • Wax Buildup: When you don’t clean your ears frequently and have high levels of wax built-up, then you’re vulnerable to damaging your ears.
  • Consuming Specific Drugs: Most often aspirin, some antibiotics, sedatives, and anti-inflammatory medication list tinnitus as a possible side effect.
  • Aging: Sometimes you can’t help developing tinnitus because aging causes your cochlea to deteriorate.

Types Of Tinnitus

Two types of tinnitus exist, and we shall go through them both. One form is exceedingly common and goes by the name subjective tinnitus. The other type of tinnitus that is incredibly rare is called objective tinnitus.

Woman's ear close-up.

Subjective Tinnitus

This is a form of tinnitus in which only you can hear. Subjective tinnitus typically emerges due to problems in your middle, inner, or outer ear. Sometimes even issues with your auditory nerves and auditory pathways can lead to subjective tinnitus. 

Objective Tinnitus

Less than one percent of people have been diagnosed with objective tinnitus, so the chances of you having this type of tinnitus remain slim. During a physical examination, both you and your doctor will be able to listen to this sound.

Objective tinnitus will form when there is a problem with a blood vessel, an ear bone, or a random muscle spasm. Typically, when one is starting to show signs of objective tinnitus, you should rush them straight to the hospital.

Tinnitus Prevention

You can try to prevent tinnitus developing, but after a certain age, you can't do anything about the matter.

List Of Ways To Prevent Tinnitus

  • Wear Hearing Protection
  • Limit your Exposure to Loud Noises
  • Turn Down the Volume on Your MP3
  • Go To Your Doctor For Routine Checkups

Tinnitus Management

Don't listen to the people that will give you a negative outlook on tinnitus by saying that it isn't curable. Even though tinnitus cannot be cured, there definitely are ways to manage it, so your life doesn't become a hassle.

Learn To Take Life Easy

If you have been diagnosed with tinnitus, the number one thing that can help you is to stop worrying about the condition. Sometimes people worry so much that they end up making the tinnitus a lot more noticeable than it was before.

Relaxing your muscles is an excellent way to get the ringing noise to calm down.

Stay Away From Silent Environment

It looks like you can't go to the library anymore because a silent environment will exacerbate your tinnitus symptoms. You can play background music while completing daily chores to minimize the ringing noise.

Conclusion

If any of the information above rang true with what you're currently experiencing, you should see a doctor. Remember not to look at the situation negatively because there are still ways you can minimize your tinnitus problem.

Seeing a doctor for tinnitus.

For those who have further comments or questions, feel free to leave them below. We will make it our number one priority to provide answers.

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