Tinnitus is when you experience noises in one or both of your ears. Tinnitus sounds can be perceived as a high pitch tone ringing, a rushing water noise, or even sometimes a low pitch humming. The noise you hear when you have tinnitus isn't typically caused by an external sound, and other people usually can't hear it. Tinnitus is a common problem. It affects about 10%-25% of the population and is especially common in older adults.
Tinnitus is usually a symptom of underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, history of exposure to loud noises, an ear injury or a problem with the circulatory system. In most cases of tinnitus, the noise cannot be perceived by anyone other than the person experiencing it. However, in certain cases of medical origin one can experience pulsatile tinnitus, characterized by rhythmic thumping, whooshing or throbbing in one or both ears. Pulsatile tinnitus is a result of underlying medical health conditions and need to be addressed by a medical doctor.
What causes tinnitus?
tinnitus it has been linked to the following:
  • Noise exposure. Many people experience tinnitus after being exposed to loud noise in a
    workplace setting or at a sporting event or concert. Tinnitus is also the most common service-related disability among veterans because of loud noise they may have experienced from
    gunfire, machinery, bomb blasts, or other similar sources.
  • Hearing loss. Hearing loss, which can be caused by factors such as aging or exposure to loud noise, is strongly associated with tinnitus. Some people with hearing loss, however, never
    develop tinnitus.
  • Medications. Tinnitus can be a side effect of taking certain medications, especially if they are taken at high doses. Medications associated with tinnitus include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin), certain antibiotics, anti-cancer
    drugs, anti-malaria medications, and antidepressants.
  • Earwax or an ear infection. Blockage of the ear canal by earwax or by fluid from an ear
    infection can trigger tinnitus.
  • Head or neck injuries. A head/neck injury can damage structures of the ear, the nerve that
    carries sound signals to the brain, or areas of the brain that process sound, causing tinnitus.
Less common tinnitus risk factors include:
  • Ménière’s disease. Tinnitus can be a symptom of  Ménière’s disease, an inner ear disorder that
    can also cause balance problems and hearing loss.
  • Jaw joint problems. The joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull is close to the ear. Jaw
    clenching or tooth grinding can damage surrounding tissue, causing or worsening tinnitus.
  • Tumor-related disorders. A vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma) is a benign tumor on a
    nerve that leads from the inner ear to the brain. Acoustic neuromas and other head, neck, and
    brain tumors can cause tinnitus.
  • Blood vessel problems. High blood pressure, atherosclerosis, or malformations in blood vessels,
    especially if they are in or close to the ear, can alter blood flow and cause tinnitus.
  • Chronic conditions. Diabetes, migraines, thyroid disorders, anemia, and certain autoimmune
    disorders such as lupus and multiple sclerosis are among the chronic conditions that have been
    linked to tinnitus.
If you are suffering from tinnitus, we can help.

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