What is Tinnitus?
Do you experience ringing, clicking, buzzing or hissing in your ears? If you do you might have a condition known as Tinnitus. This hearing issue is the annoying sensation of hearing sound when no external sound is present. These phantom noises may vary in pitch from a low roar to a high squeal, and you may hear it in one or both ears. In some cases, the sound can be so loud it interferes with your ability to concentrate or hear actual sound.
According to The Mayo Clinic there are two kinds of tinnitus and several reasons you might experience it.
- Subjective tinnitus only you can hear. It can be caused by ear problems in your outer, middle or inner ear. Problems with the hearing (auditory) nerves or the part of your brain that interprets nerve signals as sound (auditory pathways)are causes for it.
- Objective tinnitus is a form your doctor can hear when he or she does an examination, in addition, this rare type of tinnitus may be caused by a blood vessel problem, a middle ear bone condition or muscle contractions.
In many people, this hearing problem is caused by one of these conditions:
- Age-related hearing loss. For many people, hearing worsens with age, usually starting around age 60. Hearing loss can cause tinnitus. The medical term for this type of hearing loss is presbycusis.
- Exposure to loud noise. Most of all, common sources of noise-related hearing loss are loud noises, such as those from heavy equipment, chain saws and firearms, therefore Portable music devices, such as MP3 players or iPods, also can cause noise-related hearing loss if played loudly for long periods. Thus, Tinnitus caused by short-term exposure, such as attending a loud concert, usually goes away; long-term exposure to loud sound can cause permanent damage.
- Earwax blockage. Earwax protects your ear canal by trapping dirt and slowing the growth of bacteria. As a result, when too much earwax accumulates, it becomes too hard to wash away naturally, causing hearing loss or irritation of the eardrum, furthermore, this can lead to this hearing problem.
- Ear bone changes. Stiffening of the bones in your middle ear (otosclerosis) may affect your hearing and cause tinnitus. This condition, caused by abnormal bone growth, tends to run in families.
Especially relevant, Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ our Board Certified Hearing Aid Specialist is also a tinnitus specialist. Learn how your ear issues can be easily managed with our new hearing devices, Call 772-286-4327 today and schedule your complementary hearing screening. For more information about forms of hearing loss check out our article “What Causes Hearing Loss”.