“Why am I hearing a ringing noise in my ears?” “How can I make that noise go away?”
If you find yourself making these kinds of statements, you may be dealing with tinnitus, a common hearing issue where you hear noises or experience a sound that others don’t hear. This is more common than you might think. Millions of individuals have this disorder.
Most describe it as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a pulsing noise, a dial tone, buzzing, or whistling.
Ringing in the ears might seem harmless, depending on its intensity. But there are absolutely times when you shouldn’t disregard it. Tinnitus symptoms can often be a sign of something more serious taking place in your body.
You need to take the following 6 symptoms seriously.
1. The Ringing in Your Ears is Affecting The Quality of Your Life
Some research indicates that 26% of tinnitus sufferers cope with that ringing on a nearly continuous basis.
Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and relationship problems are all possible repercussions of this ever present ringing.
Something as basic as listening to your daughter share a recipe over the phone becomes a struggle between her voice and the noise that overpowers it. You may snap at your grandson, who asks a simple question, because the ringing stresses you out.
Continuous ringing can become a vicious cycle. As your stress level goes up, the ringing gets louder. And you get more anxious the louder the noise is and on and on.
If tinnitus is causing these types of life challenges, it’s time to address it. It’s real, and it affects your quality of life. The noise can be reduced or eliminated with obtainable treatment options.
2. The Noise in Your Ears Manifests After You Switch Medications
Doctors might try several different medications to manage the same condition whether you have chronic pain or cancer. Some of these will have side effects so extreme that you may want to ask about alternatives. Consult with your doctor and determine what the side effects are if you began experiencing tinnitus symptoms after starting a new medication.
Some common medications might cause tinnitus. These include some forms of:
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
- Loop Diuretics
- Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
3. It’s Accompanied by Blurred Vision, Headache, or Seizures
This normally indicates that your tinnitus symptoms are being triggered by high blood pressure. The blood circulation in your inner ear is restricted when you suffer from hypertension. High blood pressure that goes unmanaged is also a risk to your total health. As time passes, it may cause or worsen age-related hearing loss.
4. You Always Seem to be Leaving Work, The Gym, or a Concert When You Hear it
If you leave a noisy place such as a bar, concert, factory, or fitness class, and you begin to hear tinnitus noises, you were probably exposed to unsafe noise levels and that’s more than likely the cause of these noises. If you neglect this episodic tinnitus and don’t start to protect your ears, it will most likely become constant over time. And it’s usually accompanied by hearing loss.
If you’re going to be exposed to loud sound, use the following to protect your hearing:
- Standing a little further away from loud speakers
- Wearing earplugs
- At least once every hour, go outside or into the restroom to give your ears a break
If you work in a loud environment, follow work rules pertaining to earplugs and earmuffs. Your safety gear will only effectively protect you if you use it correctly.
5. You Also Have Facial Paralysis
We hope you wouldn’t ignore facial paralysis irrespective of whether you have ringing in your ears. But when you have nausea, paralysis, headaches, and you also have tinnitus, it’s possible that you may have an acoustic neuroma (a slow growing benign brain tumor).
6. Fluctuating Hearing Loss is Accompanying Tinnitus
Are you experiencing hearing loss that comes and goes? Do you feel dizzy off and on? When accompanied by tinnitus, this indicates you need to be screened for Meniere’s disease. This makes your ears get a fluid imbalance. If left without treatment, it often gets worse and might increase your risks of serious falls caused by lack of balance.
Hearing loss is frequently signaled by tinnitus. So you should get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing it. Give us a call to make an appointment.