“Why am I hearing a ringing noise in my ears?” “How can I make that sound go away?”
If you find yourself making these kinds of statements, you could have tinnitus, a common hearing condition where you hear noises or perceive a sound that others can’t hear. You’re not alone. 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, whistling, or buzzing.
Depending on the severity, ringing in the ears may seem harmless. But there are definitely times when you shouldn’t disregard it. Something more serious might be the underlying cause of these noises.
Here are 6 tinnitus symptoms you really should take seriously.
1. Your Quality of Life is Being Affected by The Ringing in Your Ears
Some research suggests that 26% of tinnitus sufferers experience that ringing on a nearly continuous basis.
Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and relationship problems are all possible outcomes of this ever present ringing.
It can be a struggle between the tinnitus noise and something as simple as trying to hear your friend give you a recipe over the phone. You may snap at your grandchild, who simply asks a question, because the ringing stresses you out.
Constant ringing can cause a vicious cycle. The ringing gets louder as your stress level rises. Loud noise makes you more anxious and so on.
If your tinnitus is contributing to these types of life struggles, you shouldn’t neglect it. It’s there, and your life is being affected. 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
Doctors might try several different medications to treat the same condition whether you have cancer or chronic pain. Some of these will have side effects so extreme that you may want to ask about alternate options. Talk with your doctor and find out what the side effects are if you began experiencing tinnitus symptoms after starting a new medication.
Tinnitus may be caused by some common medications. These include some forms of:
- 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 might be a sign that high blood pressure is causing your tinnitus. When you have hypertension, the flow of blood to your inner ear is compromised. Your general health is also in danger with high blood pressure. As time passes, it could cause or worsen age-related hearing loss.
4. You Only Hear it After You Leave a Concert, Gym, or Work
If you leave a noisy place like a bar, concert, factory, or fitness class, and you start to hear tinnitus noises, you were probably exposed to unsafe levels of noise and that’s most likely the cause of these noises. If you disregard this occasional tinnitus and don’t begin to safeguard your ears, it will most likely become constant over time. And it’s usually accompanied by hearing loss.
If you’re going to be exposed to loud sound, use the following to protect your hearing:
- Using earplugs
- Giving your ears a regular break by going into the restroom or outside, if possible, at least once an hour
- Standing a bit further away from loud speakers
Adhere to the rules regarding earmuffs and earplugs if you work in a noisy setting. Your safety gear will only successfully protect you if you use it correctly.
5. You Also Have Facial Paralysis
We hope you wouldn’t ignore facial paralysis regardless of whether you have ringing in your ears. But when the tinnitus symptoms are accompanied by paralysis, headaches, and nausea, this may be a sign of a slow-growing benign brain tumor called an acoustic neuroma.
6. You Experience Fluctuating Hearing Loss With it
Do you experience hearing loss that seems to get worse, then get better, then worse again? 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 makes your ears get a fluid imbalance. Your risk of falling due to lack of balance will worsen if this disorder is left untreated.
Hearing loss is often signaled by tinnitus. So if you’re experiencing it, you should have your hearing examined more frequently. Get in touch with us to make an appointment for a hearing test.