That ringing in your ears, as it turns out, isn’t a sign that someone is talking about you; it’s tinnitus. If this is news to you, don’t panic! According to tinnitus experts at the Mayo Clinic, tinnitus is a common, and often non-threatening condition, occurring in one of every six Americans.
Still, it would be helpful to have an understanding of tinnitus and familiarize yourself with what might cause tinnitus and if it’s something you should bring up with your doctor. To that end, we’ve compiled some information for you.
A Brief Look at Tinnitus
Tinnitus is the perception of noise in the ears or head when no external noise is present. It is often pronounced two ways and either can be correct: Ti-NIGHT-us or TINN-a-tus. Although it is often referred to simply as “ringing in the ears,” it can have multiple presentations depending on the person. Some of those presentations include buzzing, humming, crackling, popping, or clicking.
What Might Lead to Tinnitus
Although research around that ringing in your ears is ongoing, tinnitus experts have categorized those sounds as either pulsatile or non-pulsatile tinnitus. Pulsatile tinnitus is marked by a “pulsing” sound in your ears, described by some as being able to hear their heartbeat. This is caused, according to Harvard Medical School, by normal or abnormal blood flow in the vessels near your ear, and should be brought to the attention of your doctor.
The cause of non-pulsatile tinnitus can be trickier to locate. Normally associated with hearing loss, this sort of tinnitus can occur in patients with no hearing loss at all. Here’s a more exhaustive list of what might be causing that ringing in your ears.
Is There a Cure for Tinnitus?
Currently, there is no cure for tinnitus, though tinnitus experts have effective ways of treating it to lower the negative effects. As hearing loss is a common cause of tinnitus, hearing aides can often help to lessen that annoying ringing in your ears. Other management techniques for tinnitus include:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in the way of short-term sessions using cognitive restructuring and relaxation.
- Tinnitus Retraining Therapy in the way of individual counseling and sound therapy.
- Stress Management in the way of relaxation therapy or exercise.
- Health Evaluation looks at issues such as diet, physical activity, sleep, and stress level.
Is it Necessary to Receive Treatment for Tinnitus?
The degree of discomfort from tinnitus varies from person to person. Many patients are fine living with it, saying it’s “easily ignored”, while other patients proclaim it to be “completely debilitating.” If you find that you’re experiencing depression or anxiety, heightened irritability, sleep loss due to tinnitus, or any other discomfort, it may be best to find a tinnitus expert.
Contact the Tinnitus Experts and Get Rid of Your Discomfort
You shouldn’t have to live with the discomfort associated with tinnitus, and at The Hearing Place, we want to make sure you don’t. When you can’t hear as clearly as you should, engaging in normal day-to-day life can be difficult. Learn more about tinnitus and the treatments we have available, and let’s get you back to living a life with better hearing.