Tinnitus is one of the most frustrating medical conditions one can experience. Though little to no physical pain is often accompanied with tinnitus, this condition disrupts the lives of 15 to 20 percent of people in the United States. The perceived presence of incessant buzzing, ringing, clicking, humming, and sometimes roaring can affect concentration, sleeping habits, and quality of life as a whole.
Many doctors and researchers consider tinnitus as a symptom of an underlying medical condition, like an injury to the ear or age-related hearing loss. This is a common issue among people who have experienced damage to blood vessels within the ear.
Whether you’re suffering from the condition yourself or you simply want to know more information about it, here are some of the primary ways that a person can develop tinnitus.
Age-related hearing loss
It’s common for older individuals to develop hearing loss as they age, also known as presbycusis. Unfortunately, this deterioration in hearing can also induce tinnitus. This typically occurs in both ears of the person, preventing the person from hearing higher frequency sounds.
Seniors who develop tinnitus typically begin to experience these symptoms around the age of 60 and older. When symptoms start to occur, it’s best to look into medication, or supplements like Tinnitus 911. In severe cases however, seniors are advised to use hearing aids to to help them live a normal lifestyle.
A blow to the head can result in damage to the inner ear. However, some people can experience tinnitus as a result of a traumatic brain injury which impacts brain functioning pertaining to hearing. Some neck injuries or other spinal cord injuries can also affect a person’s ability to hear, resulting in tinnitus.
A loud noise
A sudden, loud noise can result in tinnitus. This is perhaps the first thing people think of when they consider the common causes for tinnitus. This can occur due to a loud car accident, a firearm going off, a raucous concert, or any other loud sound that a person simply could not prepare for at the time.
However, these short-term loud noises are not the only events that lead to tinnitus. Frequent exposure to loud noises are another way that people develop tinnitus and hearing loss. This is common among people who work with heavy machinery, work in the music industry, or listen to earphones at high volumes multiple times per week.
Meniere’s disease is a chronic condition that affects the health of the inner ear. This disorder can occur in someone at any age, but people in their 40s and 50s are more likely to develop the condition. Meniere’s is caused by extreme pressure in the ear, resulting in tinnitus, dizziness, and vertigo.
In fact, the development of tinnitus can be an early indicator that someone may be suffering from Meniere’s disease. Unfortunately, there’s currently no known cause for the disease.
When your ear is blocked by a wall of ear wax, you may suffer from hearing loss due to irritation on the eardrum. Ear wax exists to prevent the accumulation of debris and bacteria from damaging the inner ear, but when ear wax hardens over time, it can become the very issue it hoped to prevent. Using cotton swabs and other instruments can push the ear wax further into the canal, worsening the condition. If the ear wax isn’t removed properly by a medical professional, you can suffer permanent hearing damage.
Tinnitus is a frustrating symptom, but it can indicate a larger problem. Talk to your doctor today should you think you have tinnitus or another hearing loss-related issue.