“Why am I hearing a ringing noise in my ears?” “How can I make that noise go away?”
You could be dealing with tinnitus, a common hearing disorder that manifests sounds in your ears that no one else can hear, if you find yourself making these kinds 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 pulsing noise, a dial tone, buzzing, or whistling.
Ringing in the ears may seem harmless, depending on its severity. But tinnitus shouldn’t always be ignored. Something more significant may be the underlying cause of these sounds.
You need to take the following 6 symptoms seriously.
1. Your Quality of Life is Being Affected by The Ringing in Your Ears
Some research suggests that 26% of people with tinnitus experience that ringing on an almost constant basis.
Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and relationship problems are all possible consequences of this ever present ringing.
Something as simple as listening to your daughter share a recipe over the phone becomes a battle between her voice and the noise that overshadows it. The constant ringing has stressed you out to the point where you snap at a member of the family who simply asks you a question.
Constant ringing can become a vicious cycle. The ringing gets louder as your stress level goes up. And you get more stressed the louder the noise is and on and on.
If your tinnitus is leading to these types of life challenges, you shouldn’t neglect it. It’s there, and your life is being affected. The noise can be decreased or eliminated with available treatment options.
2. The Noise in Your Ears Starts After You Change Medications
Doctors might try numerous different medications to treat the same condition whether you have chronic pain or cancer. Some of these will have side effects so significant that you might want to ask about alternatives. If your tinnitus began or got seriously worse after you started a new drug, check that list of side effects and speak with your doctor.
Some common medications might cause tinnitus. Here are a few examples:
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
- Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
- Loop Diuretics
3. Blurred Vision, Seizures, And Headache Come With Tinnitus Noises
This normally means that your tinnitus symptoms are being caused by high blood pressure. The blood circulation in your inner ear is compromised when you have hypertension. Your overall health is also at risk with high blood pressure. Over time, 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 bar, concert, factory, 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 occasional tinnitus and don’t start to protect your ears, it will likely become constant over time. And hearing loss will usually accompany it.
If you enjoy a loud night out, take precautions like:
- Wearing earplugs
- Giving your ears a periodic break by going into the restroom or outside, if possible, at least once an hour
- Standing a bit further away from loud speakers
If you work in a loud place, follow work rules regarding earplugs and earmuffs. 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 the tinnitus symptoms are accompanied by paralysis, headaches, and nausea, this might be a sign of a slow-growing benign brain tumor called an acoustic neuroma.
6. You Experience Fluctuating Hearing Loss With it
Are you experiencing hearing loss that comes and goes? Do you feel dizzy off and on? If these symptoms are occurring along with tinnitus, you may need to get tested for Menier’s disease. This causes your ears to ears get a fluid imbalance. If left untreated, it often gets worse and may increase your risks of serious falls caused by lack of balance.
Hearing loss is frequently signaled by tinnitus. So you should have your hearing examined if you’re experiencing it. Give us a call to make an appointment.