5 Common Questions about Tinnitus
More than 25 million Americans experience tinnitus, according to figures from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). It’s quite possible that you yourself may have experienced symptoms of tinnitus at one point in your life. Ringing, hissing or buzzing are commonly reported symptoms.
Tinnitus can affect people from all walks of life. It can impact older and younger people alike. Symptoms of tinnitus can also differ from one person to the next. Below, we’re going to take a look at the 5 common questions about tinnitus.
What is Tinnitus?
WebMD defines tinnitus as: “Tinnitus (pronounced ti-ni-tis), or ringing in the ears, is the sensation of hearing ringing, buzzing, hissing, chirping, whistling, or other sounds. The noise can be intermittent or continuous, and can vary in loudness.”
The sounds that tinnitus sufferers hear are not produced by something outside of your body. For the majority of people with tinnitus, it is little more than an annoyance. But for some, the condition can really impact their quality of life.
Is There More Than One Type of Tinnitus?
There are two types of tinnitus, known as subjective and objective.
- Subjective Tinnitus – This type of tinnitus is the most common form. Symptoms include ear or head noises that only the person suffering can hear. Over 99% of reported cases of tinnitus fall under the ‘subjective tinnitus’ category.
- Objective Tinnitus – This form of tinnitus involves other people being able to hear the noises from the sufferers ear or head. This type of tinnitus is normally caused by internal bodily functions – such as the normal flow of blood. It’s an exceptionally rare form of tinnitus, making up 1% of reported cases.
What are the Symptoms of Tinnitus?
Symptoms of tinnitus can vary from person to person. While ringing in the ears is the most commonly reported symptom, others can include:
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus doesn’t have one definitive cause. Rather, it is known to be triggered by a number of different conditions. These can include:
- Hearing loss – 90% of people with tinnitus have an underlying hearing loss, according to the Hearing Health Foundation.
- Loud noise – If you’ve ever been to a loud rock concert, you’ve probably experienced the feeling of walking away with muffled hearing. Perhaps you even experienced a high-pitched whine in your ears. Exposure to loud noise can trigger tinnitus symptoms, although they generally subside after a period of time.
- Blockage in the ear – Tinnitus can be caused by a blockage in your ear, such as a buildup of earwax. The tinnitus symptoms generally stop once the blockage is removed.
- Medication – Certain types of medication, known as ototoxic, can impact your hearing health. The first symptom that your medication is affecting your hearing could be tinnitus. You can learn more about ototoxic hearing loss on our blog here.
Is Tinnitus Treatable?
There is currently no cure for tinnitus. However, there are treatment options available that can help minimize the symptoms.
Depending on the underlying condition causing your tinnitus, treating that condition can help stop tinnitus symptoms. In other cases, using masking techniques or behavioral remedies can help minimize symptoms.
Consult the Hearing Specialists at Anderson Audiology!
If you’re experiencing symptoms of tinnitus, it could be caused by a hearing loss. Regular annual hearing assessments can help identify any changes to your baseline hearing. This can minimize the impact that hearing loss has on your quality of life.
At Anderson Audiology, we are here to help you with your hearing needs. Schedule an appointment today with one of our hearing professionals at one of our five convenient audiology clinic locations in southern Nevada.