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What is the Ringing in my Ear?

Have you ever experienced ringing, buzzing or hissing in your ear? Approximately 50 million Americans have experienced a mild to severe form of tinnitus. While many people think tinnitus is an actual condition, it’s actually a symptom of an underlying condition.

Causes of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is most commonly caused by tiny hairs in your inner ear being bent or broken. When bent or broken, they can allow random electrical impulses to your brain. Other causes of tinnitus include:

  • Earwax Buildup – The main function of ear wax is to protect the ear canal from dirt and bacteria. However, when too much builds up, it can cause hearing loss or irritation, both of which lead to tinnitus.
  • Age-related hearing loss – Hearing loss can cause tinnitus. Tinnitus that is caused by age-related hearing loss is known as presbycusis.
  • TMJ disorders – Excess tension in your temporomandibular joint can lead to tinnitus and other hearing conditions.
  • Exposure to loud noises – Short-term exposure to loud noises, such as concerts or clubs, can lead to temporary tinnitus. Frequent exposure to chainsaws, firearms and loud music can cause permanent damage.
  • Head, neck and brain injuries – Trauma to the head, neck and brain can cause issues with the hearing nerves. When tinnitus is associated with head, neck and brain trauma, it usually only affects only one ear.
  • Medications – Various medications, such as antibiotics, cancer medications, diuretics, antidepressants and quinine medications can worse or even cause tinnitus.

Treating Tinnitus

To properly treat tinnitus, a physician will have to diagnose the condition that’s causing the disorder. Common treatments for tinnitus include ear wax removal, changing medications, treating blood vessel conditions and noise suppression techniques.

Contact ENT Specialist Dr. Marc Dean in Fort Worth, TX at (817) 332-4060 for information on tinnitus.

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