“What’s that annoying sound in my ears?” “How can I make that noise go away?”
If you find yourself making these kinds of statements, you could have tinnitus, a common hearing issue where you hear noises or perceive a sound that others can’t hear. This is more common than you may think. Tinnitus is a disorder that impacts millions of people.
Most describe it as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a pulsing noise, a dial tone, whistling, or buzzing.
Ringing in the ears might seem harmless, depending on its intensity. But tinnitus shouldn’t always be ignored. Something more significant may be the root cause of these noises.
Here are 6 tinnitus symptoms you need to take seriously.
1. Your Quality of Life is Being Affected by The Ringing in Your Ears
26% of individuals who have tinnitus experience symptoms continuously, based on some studies.
This irritating, ever-present noise can result in all kinds of relationship problems, insomnia, anxiety, and even depression.
It can be a battle between the tinnitus sound and something as basic as trying 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 family member who asks you a question.
A vicious cycle can be the outcome of this constant ringing. The ringing gets louder as your stress level rises. And you get more stressed the louder the noise is and on and on.
If tinnitus is contributing to these types of life challenges, it’s time to deal with it. It’s there, and your life is being affected. The noise can be decreased 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 might try numerous different medications to deal with the same condition. You might ask for a different option if you begin to experience significant side effects. If your tinnitus began or got significantly worse after you started a new drug, check that list of side effects and speak with your doctor.
Tinnitus might be caused by some common medications. Here are a few examples:
- Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
- Loop Diuretics
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
3. It’s Accompanied by Headache, Blurred Vision, or Seizures
This may be a sign that high blood pressure is triggering your tinnitus. The blood flow in your inner ear is compromised when you have hypertension. Unregulated high blood pressure is also dangerous for your general health. 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 only hear the tinnitus when you leave a noisy place like a concert, aerobics class, factory, or bar, then the place you were just in had unsafe levels of noise. If you neglect this episodic tinnitus and don’t begin to safeguard your ears, it will most likely become constant over time. And it’s frequently accompanied by hearing loss.
If you are going to be exposed to loud noise, use the following to protect your hearing:
- Giving your ears a regular break by stepping into the restroom or outside, if possible, at least once an hour
- Using earplugs
- Standing a bit further away from loud speakers
If you work in a loud place, adhere to work rules regarding 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 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 have hearing loss that seems to worsen, then get better, then worse again? Are you sometimes dizzy? When accompanied by tinnitus, this indicates you need to be evaluated for Meniere’s disease. This makes your ears get a fluid imbalance. If left untreated, it frequently gets worse and may increase your risks of serious falls due to lack of balance.
Hearing loss is frequently signaled by tinnitus. So if you are experiencing it, you should get your hearing examined more frequently. Reach out to us to make an appointment for a hearing test.