Hearing loss isn’t the only reason you should take care of your ears. Tinnitus is a widespread condition among Americans, and in many cases, it is preventable.
Every day, we see patients who have neglected their hearing health and have developed tinnitus. Usually, this is a new sensation for them, and when they are told that it’s tinnitus, they often respond with “What’s that?”
I’ve answered many questions about tinnitus over the years and learned a lot from my patients. I have listed and answered the most common questions I typically receive below.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is defined as noises heard by a person in either one ear or both. It can sometimes be centralized and sounds like it is coming from the middle of the head.
It may be constant, or it may come and go and could be a combination of both. It is very often associated with hearing loss.
The two types of tinnitus are:
Subjective – This type is when only the patient can hear the sound in question. It’s the perception of sound without an acoustic stimulus and is by far the most common type of tinnitus.
Objective – Structural sounds within the ear cause the rarer type of tinnitus. In some of these cases, we can actually hear what you hear through a stethoscope. These are usually caused by blood vessels.
What Are The Symptoms/Sensations Of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be described as a few different things: buzzing, ringing, roaring, clicking, humming, etc.
It could be soft or loud, and even that can change. It can present itself in different tones as well. This is so common that 25 million Americans reported experiencing tinnitus for at least five minutes just last year alone.
Can Hearing Loss Cause Dizziness?
No, hearing loss doesn’t cause dizziness, however it can be experienced alongside dizziness in various conditions.
The inner ear is made up of both a hearing organ (cochlea) and a balance organ (semicircular canals). Some conditions cause both hearing loss as well as dizziness.
- Meniere’s disease
- A viral infection that causes both organs to be impacted
- Medication side effects
- Middle ear infections
This is why it is so important to attend regular hearing assessments. Early detection is so important and a simple hearing check-up is beneficial for overall health and wellness.
Can Tinnitus Be Cured Or At Best, Treated?
At this time, there is no cure for tinnitus, unfortunately.
However, many recommendations can help the patient receive incredible relief and more control over their tinnitus. You can manage it, and you can live a positive and fulfilling life.
Depending on the level of severity, there are options for relief from tinnitus:
- Hearing aids
- Earwax removal
- Treating a blood vessel
- White noise machines to drown out the sound
- Changing medications
Hearing aids are the most popular due to their success rate. With the advanced technology available, today’s hearing aids are nothing short of incredible.
Will The Ringing In The Ear Go Away On Its Own?
Every person is different. Sometimes tinnitus totally stops on its own, and sometimes it continues at varying degrees of intensity.
The most important thing a person with tinnitus can do is receive a hearing test from an audiologist when they have persistent tinnitus. Recommendations such as diet restrictions and sound therapy can be beneficial to patients who have constant tinnitus.
Lastly, if a hearing loss is associated with tinnitus, hearing devices are vital for treating both conditions.
What Happens If Tinnitus Gets Louder?
Tinnitus is prone to fluctuate based on many different factors. The important thing to remember is not to panic – this is very typical.
Baseline hearing tests by an audiologist are very important. Also, stress and diet may be impacting a person’s level of tinnitus.
Regular blood pressure checks and annual physicals with your primary care physician are essential for overall health and wellness.
What Should Someone Do If They Have Persistent Ringing In The Ears?
If someone has persistent ringing in their ears, they should pursue a baseline hearing check with an audiologist.
There are many reasons for tinnitus, but a baseline hearing test is the best place to start and get advice from a professional.
What Should I Do Next?
Schedule a tinnitus assessment at your earliest convenience even if you don’t think anything is wrong. Baseline hearing tests are so nice to have if a hearing loss shows up later down the road.
If you have any questions, please call us anytime to have a friendly no-obligation conversation.
We’re here to help.