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What Causes Ringing in the Ears

Tinnitus is described as a ringing in the ears. It may be soft or loud, high pitched or low pitched. Millions of Americans experience tinnitus, making it one of the most common health conditions in the country. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly 15% of the general public — over 50 million Americans — experience some form of tinnitus.

What are the symptoms of tinnitus?

Tinnitus involves hearing a ringing in the ears when there is no external stimulus responsible. Tinnitus symptoms may include the following sounds:

  • Buzzing
  • Roaring
  • Clicking
  • Hissing
  • Humming

Common causes of tinnitus

Tinnitus may occur for a variety of reasons. Some cases of tinnitus are acute, meaning they go away on their own with little to no medical interventions. However, some cases may be the result of inner-ear damage, leading to chronic tinnitus.

Exposure to loud noises 

Loud noises, whether on a single occasion or over time, can damage the auditory system and cause tinnitus to develop. Loud noise exposure can happen anywhere, such as from heavy equipment, concerts or other recreational activities.

Earwax blockage

It is important to maintain a healthy level of earwax because it protects your ear canal by trapping dirt and slowing the growth of bacteria. However, too much earwax can irritate the ear and cause hearing loss or tinnitus.

Age-related hearing loss

As we grow older, our hearing naturally degenerates. This usually begins around the age of 60. Sometimes this type of hearing loss may coincide with tinnitus.

Dental work 

Drill noise and ultrasonic plaque removal both involve sustained sound that can cause or aggravate tinnitus.

Certain medications

Some medications may affect your inner ears, such as gentamicin, high doses of aspirin, ibuprofen, and more. The good news is that tinnitus as a result of medications is often temporary and goes away after you stop taking the medication.

Meniere’s disease

Tinnitus can be an early indicator of Meniere’s disease. Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can lead to dizzy spells (vertigo) and hearing loss.

Tinnitus can significantly affect quality of life, making you feel fatigue, stress, and other complications. Here at Ear and Sinus Institute, it is our goal to get you back on track.  If you are experiencing any symptoms of tinnitus, make an appointment with Dr. Marc Dean at the Ear and Sinus Institute today!

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Call Us to Schedule an Appointment: (817) 332-4060
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