“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 might be dealing with tinnitus, a common hearing condition that causes you to hear noises or perceive a sound that other people don’t hear. You’re not alone. Millions of people have this disorder.
Ringing, pulsing, whistling, or buzzing are the noises that the majority of people describe.
Ringing in the ears may seem harmless, depending on its severity. But there are definitely times when you shouldn’t disregard it. Something more significant may be the underlying cause of these noises.
Here are 6 tinnitus symptoms you need to take seriously.
1. The Ringing in Your Ears is Affecting The Quality of Your Life
26% of people who have tinnitus experience symptoms continuously, based on some studies.
Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and relationship problems are all possible outcomes of this ever present ringing.
It can be a struggle between the tinnitus sound and something as simple as attempting to hear your friend tell you a recipe over the phone. The nonstop ringing has stressed you out to the point where you snap at a member of the family who simply asks you a question.
Continuous ringing can become a vicious cycle. The ringing gets louder as your stress level rises. And you get more anxious the louder the noise is and on and on.
If tinnitus is contributing to these types of life challenges, it’s time to address it. It’s there, and your life is being affected. The noise can be reduced or eliminated with available treatment choices.
2. The Noise in Your Ears Starts After You Switch Medications
Whether you have chronic back pain or cancer, doctors may try several different medications to treat the same condition. Some of these will have side effects so extreme that you might want to ask about alternate options. If your tinnitus started or got seriously worse after you started a new medication, look at that list of side effects and talk to your doctor.
Some common medications might cause tinnitus. These include some forms of:
- 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. Headache, Seizures, And Blurred Vision Come With Tinnitus Noises
This may be a sign that high blood pressure is triggering your tinnitus. When you have hypertension, the blood flow to your inner ear is compromised. Unregulated high blood pressure is also dangerous for your overall health. As time passes, 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 only hear the tinnitus when you leave a loud place like a factory, concert, aerobics class, or bar, then the place you were just in had noise levels above safe levels. It becomes increasingly likely that these noises will become permanent the more frequently you disregard them and skip using ear protection. And hearing loss will probably accompany it.
If you enjoy a noisy night out, take precautions such as:
- Standing a little further away from loud speakers
- Wearing earplugs
- Giving your ears a regular break by stepping into the restroom or outside, if possible, at least once an hour
If you work in a loud environment, adhere to work rules pertaining to earplugs and earmuffs. They’re made to protect you, but they only work if you wear 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 come along with headaches, paralysis, 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 worsen, then get better, then worse again? Do you feel dizzy off and on? When accompanied by tinnitus, this suggests you need to be screened for Meniere’s disease. This causes your ears to ears get a fluid imbalance. Your risk of falling caused by lack of balance will get worse if this condition is left untreated.
Tinnitus is often a sign of hearing loss. So if you are experiencing it, you should get your hearing checked more frequently. Contact us to set up an appointment.