Hearing health is essential for everyone. When your hearing begins to fail, you may feel distracted, helpless, and confused. It may be a challenge to engage with people around you because it’s difficult to understand what others are saying. Loss of hearing can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety and can affect every aspect of your life.
There are many different ways that your hearing health can be affected. Some people begin having a hard time hearing overall. Others may have a hard time differentiating a single voice amongst many in a crowd. However, one of the most common hearing issues is hearing a ringing noise in your ears, also known as tinnitus.
There are many different reasons why ringing in your ears may occur. However, if you are experiencing this phenomenon, it’s always important to take the time to get your hearing checked by a professional. They can evaluate your hearing health and determine what your possible treatment options are. In this blog, we will discuss tinnitus or ringing in your ears and when it’s important to make sure that you’re getting help.
What Causes Ringing in the Ears?
There are many reasons why you may be experiencing tinnitus or ringing in your ears. Some of the most common reasons behind this phenomenon are:
- Aging: One of the most common reasons behind ringing in the ears is aging. As we age, our hearing health will naturally begin to be affected. Some people are more impacted by age than others, but almost everyone will notice some level of change when it comes to their hearing health. As your hearing is affected, tinnitus may be a natural result, so aging is necessarily one of the most common reasons behind hearing a ringing in your ears.
- Exposure to Loud Noise: Another very common reason behind ringing in your ears is exposure to loud noise. In fact, many people have experienced this phenomenon at one point or another. You may have a memory of attending a loud event, such as a concert, which caused a temporary ringing in your ears. However, unlike this temporary occurrence, prolonged exposure to loud noise can cause more permanent damage to your hearing, which can result in regular tinnitus symptoms.
- Structural Damage: Additionally, structural damage can result in ringing in your ears. Sometimes there may be damage such as a punctured eardrum that can result in tinnitus. While this is not one of the most common causes of the issue, it is certainly possible. This is why it’s so important to seek out the help of an audiologist if you are experiencing ringing in your ears just in case there is something more serious going on, such as structural damage.
- A Buildup of Earwax: Unlike structural damage, there are some much more mild causes of tinnitus. For example, if you have an excessive amount of earwax in your ears, it can become impacted, which can result in tinnitus. Luckily, if this is the reason behind your tinnitus, it can likely be fairly easily corrected. A specialist can remove the blockage, which can significantly reduce the occurrence of your tinnitus or even eliminate it altogether.
- TMJ Issues: Additionally, issues with the temporomandibular joint, or the TMJ, can result in tinnitus. This is the joint that connects the jaw to the rest of your skill, and it shares a lot of the same nerves as the inner ear. Some people are genetically predisposed to having issues with this joint, while others may end up with concerns as a result of grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw. Regardless, issues with your TMJ can result in tinnitus.
When To Seek Medical Help About The Ringing in Your Ears
There are various levels of severity when it comes to tinnitus. Depending on your tinnitus intensity, you may or may not feel as though it is important to seek medical help. While it is important to take care of your hearing health by getting it regularly evaluated, it is understandable that sometimes it may seem more pertinent than others.
However, there are a few essential characteristics of ear ringing that make it absolutely necessary to seek out the help of a professional. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s very important to seek out the help of a professional.
- Tinnitus Accompanied By a Sudden Change in Hearing: Tinnitus located only in one ear instead of both can be cause for alarm. This can be indicative of structural damage.
- Pulsatile Tinnitus: Pulsatile tinnitus is tinnitus that comes as a result of the blood flow in your body and your heartbeat. When you’re experiencing pulsatile tinnitus, you will find that you can your blood flow in sync with your tinnitus. This is cause for concern, as pulsatile tinnitus can come as a result of other health issues, such as high blood pressure.
- Tinnitus That Can’t Be Ignored: Additionally, if you are experiencing tinnitus that is highly disruptive to your daily life, then it’s essential to address it as soon as possible. If your tinnitus is getting to the point where you can no longer ignore it or drown it out, then you may be approaching a more serious problem with your hearing health. Thus, it is very important to see a professional.
- Tinnitus That Causes Vertigo or Nausea: Finally, if your tinnitus is causing other symptoms, such as vertigo, then it can be indicative of a more complex issue. Additionally, it’s simply highly unpleasant to deal with such disruptive tinnitus. Thus, if your tinnitus symptoms are serving to make you feel physically ill, such as dizzy or nauseous, there is no time to waste when seeking a professional.
There are many different reasons why you may be experiencing tinnitus, also known as a ringing in your ears. Some of the most common causes include exposure to loud noise and a deteriorating hearing due to aging. No matter the reason behind your tinnitus, it is always a disruptive condition.
However, some tinnitus symptoms are more worrisome than others. If you are experiencing persistent tinnitus that can’t be ignored, dealing with physical symptoms, such as vertigo, or hearing pulsatile tinnitus, it’s very important that you seek out the help of a professional as soon as you can. They can check the structural integrity of your ears and determine what can be done to improve your hearing and reduce your tinnitus as much as possible. Get an audiology hearing test done today!