“What’s that ringing in my ears?” “How can I make that sound go away?”
You may be suffering from tinnitus, a common hearing condition that manifests noises in your ears that nobody else can hear, if you find yourself making these kinds of statements. You’re not alone. Millions of individuals have this disorder.
Most describe it as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a dial tone, pulsing noise, whistling, or buzzing.
Ringing in the ears might seem harmless, depending on its severity. But there are absolutely times when you shouldn’t ignore it. Something more significant may be the underlying cause of these noises.
Here are 6 tinnitus symptoms you should take seriously.
1. Your Quality of Life is Being Affected by The Ringing in Your Ears
Some research suggests that 26% of people with tinnitus cope with that ringing on a nearly constant basis.
Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and relationship problems are all possible outcomes of this ever present ringing.
It can be a battle between the tinnitus sound and something as basic as attempting to hear your friend give you a recipe over the phone. The constant ringing has stressed you out to the point where you snap at a family member who asks you a question.
Constant ringing can become a vicious cycle. As your stress level rises, the ringing gets louder. And you get more stressed the louder the noise is and on and on.
If your tinnitus is contributing to these types of life challenges, you shouldn’t ignore it. It’s real, and it affects your quality of life. There are treatment options that can significantly reduce or get rid of the noise in your ears.
2. The Noise in Your Ears Begins After You Change Medications
Whether you have persistent back pain or cancer, doctors might try several different medications to treat the same ailment. You might ask for an alternative solution if you start to experience severe side effects. If your tinnitus began or got seriously worse after you started a new medication, check that list of side effects and speak with your doctor.
Tinnitus might be caused by some common medications. Here are a few examples:
- Loop Diuretics
- Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
3. It Comes With Blurred Vision, Headache, or Seizures
This might be a sign that high blood pressure is triggering your tinnitus. When you have hypertension, the flow of blood to your inner ear is restricted. Unregulated high blood pressure is also a risk to your general health. Age related hearing loss, over time, will get worse because of this.
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 noise levels and that’s most likely the cause of these noises. If you ignore this occasional tinnitus and don’t start to safeguard your ears, it will likely become constant over time. And it’s commonly accompanied by hearing loss.
If you enjoy a loud night out, take precautions such as:
- Standing a bit further away from loud speakers
- Using earplugs
- Giving your ears a periodic break by stepping outside or into the restroom, if possible, at least once an hour
If you work in a loud environment, follow work rules pertaining to earplugs and earmuffs. Your safety gear will only effectively protect you if you use it correctly.
5. You Also Have Facial Paralysis
Whether you have ringing in your ears or not, you should never dismiss facial paralysis. But when you have paralysis, nausea, headaches, and you also have tinnitus, it’s possible that you might have an acoustic neuroma (a slow growing benign brain tumor).
6. You Experience Fluctuating Hearing Loss With it
Do you experience hearing loss that seems to worsen, then get better, then worse again? Do you feel dizzy off and on? When accompanied by tinnitus, this means you need to be tested for Meniere’s disease. This causes a fluid imbalance in your ears. Your risk of falling due to lack of balance will worsen if this condition is left untreated.
Hearing loss is frequently signaled by tinnitus. So you should have your hearing examined if you’re experiencing it. Reach out to us to make an appointment for a hearing test.