“What’s that annoying sound in my ears?” “How can I make that noise go away?”
You might be dealing with tinnitus, a common hearing condition that manifests noises in your ears that no one else can hear, if you find yourself making these types of remarks. This is more common than you might think. Millions of people have this disorder.
Most describe it as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a dial tone, pulsing noise, buzzing, or whistling.
Ringing in the ears may seem harmless, depending on its intensity. But there are absolutely times when you shouldn’t neglect it. Something more serious may be the underlying cause of these noises.
Here are 6 tinnitus symptoms you should take seriously.
1. The Ringing in Your Ears is Affecting The Quality of Your Life
Some research suggests that 26% of tinnitus sufferers experience that ringing on an almost constant basis.
Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and relationship troubles are all possible consequences of this ever present ringing.
It can be a battle between the tinnitus noise and something as simple as attempting to hear your friend give you a recipe over the phone. You might snap at your grandson, who simply asks a question, because the ringing stresses you out.
A vicious cycle can be the outcome of this constant ringing. As your stress level goes up, the ringing gets louder. Loud noise makes you more nervous and so on.
If your tinnitus is leading to these types of life challenges, you shouldn’t neglect it. It’s real, and it affects your quality of life. The noise can be decreased or eliminated with obtainable treatment options.
2. After You Switched Medications, Your Ears Began to Ring
Doctors might try numerous different medications to manage the same condition whether you have cancer or chronic pain. Some of these will have side effects so significant that you might want to ask about alternatives. Consult with your doctor and determine what the side effects are if you started experiencing tinnitus symptoms after starting a new medication.
Some common medications may cause tinnitus. Here are a few examples:
- 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 may be a sign that high blood pressure is causing your tinnitus. The blood circulation in your inner ear is restricted when you suffer from hypertension. Your overall health is also in danger with high blood pressure. 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 like a factory, bar, concert, or fitness class, and you begin to hear tinnitus noises, you were probably exposed to unsafe levels of noise and that’s more than likely the cause of these noises. If you ignore this episodic tinnitus and don’t start to protect your ears, it will likely become permanent over time. And hearing loss will usually accompany it.
If you’re going to be exposed to loud sound, use the following to protect your hearing:
- Standing a bit further away from loud speakers
- Wearing earplugs
- At least once every hour, step outside or into the restroom to give your ears a break
If you work in a loud environment, follow work rules pertaining to earmuffs and earplugs. They’re made to protect you, but they only work if you use protective gear correctly.
5. You Also Have Facial Paralysis
Whether you have ringing in your ears or not, you should never dismiss facial paralysis. But when you have paralysis, nausea, headaches, and you also have tinnitus, it’s possible that you might have an acoustic neuroma (a slow growing benign brain tumor).
6. You Experience Fluctuating Hearing Loss With it
Do you have hearing loss that seems to worsen, then get better, then worse again? Are you sometimes dizzy? When accompanied by tinnitus, this suggests you need to be tested for Meniere’s disease. This causes your ears to ears get a fluid imbalance. Your risk of falling due to lack of balance will worsen if this disorder is left untreated.
Tinnitus is frequently a sign of hearing loss. So if you are experiencing it, you should get your hearing examined more frequently. Call us to set up an appointment.