A number of adults experience the constant noises caused by tinnitus, but this condition is not constrained by age. Children are equally at risk for this potentially debilitating disorder. Unlike adults, who can usually figure out that the noises they keep hearing are outside of the norm, kids are more likely to assume that everyone hears these sounds. If your child shows signs of tinnitus it is important to look into it to rule out any underlying condition.

Tinnitus is caused by a number of different conditions in both adults and kids. Among the many potential causes are circulatory problems, hearing loss from damaging noise, a build-up of wax in the ear canal, a misalignment in the jaw joints, and trauma to the neck and head. Slow-growing tumors on nerves in the face and ears can also cause tinnitus. Your family pediatrician can help rule out any specific ear problems. If your appointment does not uncover any obvious issues, your doctor will likely advise you to investigate further with an audiologist or ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist.

Should your child’s specialist find a specific issue that is causing the tinnitus, there is a good chance that the problem can be addressed and the condition eliminated. However, many kids and adults experience tinnitus without a clear cause. In this case, there is no way to eradicate the problem, so your focus should shift to helping your child cope with the sounds he or she is hearing.

Tinnitus can be distracting, making it difficult for your child to pay attention at home or at school. One way to combat this is to provide background noise. Run a fan or soft music in the background while your child is at home. Hearing aids can be helpful for children with hearing loss by helping them filter out distractions and focus on important sounds.

Tinnitus can cause some children to experience psychological distress. If this is the case with your child, it is important to be reassuring and supportive. Explain to your child that tinnitus is a common condition that many other kids and adults experience. Work with your doctors and experts to explain the problem to your child in a way he or she can understand. Take steps to help your child deal with stressful situations, as many children find that stress can make their tinnitus symptoms much worse.

Always keep in mind that many kids outgrow their tinnitus without intervention, so it may cease to be an issue. While it may be a nuisance now, with time your child can overcome it.