“Why am I hearing a ringing noise in my ears?” “Make that noise stop!”
If you find yourself making these kinds of statements, you may have tinnitus, a common hearing issue where you hear noises or experience a sound that others can’t hear. You’re not by yourself. Tinnitus is a condition that impacts millions of people.
Most describe it as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a dial tone, pulsing noise, whistling, or buzzing.
Depending on the intensity, ringing in the ears may seem harmless. But tinnitus shouldn’t always be ignored. Something more significant may be the underlying cause of these noises.
You should take the following 6 symptoms seriously.
1. Your Quality of Life is Being Affected by The Ringing in Your Ears
26% of people who have tinnitus cope with symptoms constantly, based on some studies.
This irritating, ever-present noise can bring about all kinds of relationship issues, anxiety, insomnia, and even depression.
Something as easy as listening to your daughter share a recipe on the phone becomes a struggle between her voice and the noise that overshadows it. The nonstop ringing has stressed you out to the point where you snap at a family member who simply asks you a question.
Continuous ringing can become a vicious cycle. The ringing gets louder as your stress level goes up. And you get more stressed the louder the noise is and on and on.
If tinnitus is leading to these kinds of life challenges, it’s time to address it. It’s there, and your life is being affected. There are treatment choices that can significantly reduce or eliminate the noise in your ears.
2. The Noise in Your Ears Begins After You Switch Medications
Whether you have chronic back pain or cancer, doctors might try numerous different medications to deal with the same condition. Some of these will have side effects so severe that you may want to ask about alternate options. If your tinnitus began or got seriously worse after you started a new medication, look at that list of side effects and speak with your doctor.
Tinnitus may be caused by some common medications. Here are a few examples:
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
- Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
- Loop Diuretics
3. It’s Accompanied by Headache, Blurred Vision, or Seizures
This often means that your tinnitus symptoms are being caused by high blood pressure. The blood circulation in your inner ear is restricted when you have hypertension. Your general health is also in danger with high blood pressure. Age related hearing loss, over time, will get worse because of this.
4. You Only Hear it When Leaving a Concert, Gym, or Work
If you leave a noisy place such as a bar, concert, factory, or fitness class, and you start to hear tinnitus noises, you were probably exposed to unsafe levels of noise and that’s most likely the cause of these noises. If you disregard this episodic tinnitus and don’t begin to protect your ears, it will most likely become constant over time. And it’s usually accompanied by hearing loss.
If you enjoy a loud night out, take precautions such as:
- Wearing earplugs
- Standing a little further away from loud speakers
- At least once an hour, go outside or into the restroom to give your ears a break
Follow the rules regarding earplugs and earmuffs if you work in a loud environment. They’re designed to protect you, but they only work if you wear protective gear correctly.
5. You Also Have Facial Paralysis
Whether you have ringing in your ears or not, you should never disregard facial paralysis. But when you have nausea, paralysis, headaches, and you also have tinnitus, it’s possible that you might 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? Are you sometimes dizzy? If these symptoms are happening along with tinnitus, you might need to get screened for Menier’s disease. This produces a fluid imbalance in your ears. Your risk of falling caused by lack of balance will worsen if this condition is left untreated.
Hearing loss is often signaled by tinnitus. So if you are experiencing it, you need to have your hearing checked more frequently. Get in touch with us to make an appointment for a hearing test.