Tinnitus affects about 1 in 10 people around the world and presents as a ‘ringing in the ears’, hissing, clicking, or whistling sounds in the ear. Sometimes there is the sound of a heartbeat in the ear, which is cause for concern as it could mean that there is a growth or tumour in the ear that needs immediate medical attention.
Although anybody can develop tinnitus, there are certain factors that can cause tinnitus. These include:
- excessive or sustained noise levels
- certain medications and antibiotics could cause tinnitus
- head and neck injuries
- ear infections
- a foreign object, or earwax touching the eardrum
- eustachian tube (middle ear) problems
- temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
- stiffening of the middle ear bones
- traumatic brain injury
- cardiovascular diseases
What are the Risk Factors?
There are several risk factors for contracting tinnitus. These include:
- noise exposure from work, headphones, concerts, explosives
- gender – men are affected more than women
- hearing loss
- age – older individuals have a higher likelihood of developing tinnitus.
What are the Symptoms of Tinnitus?
The most common symptom of tinnitus is that you ‘hear’ a sound on the inside of your ear. It is not a sound that comes from outside your body – it is generated inside your ear. The sound can be either loud or soft, continuous or intermittent, in just one ear or both ears, and be either a low- or a high-pitched sound or squeal. Very often,tinnitus is accompanied by a certain amount of hearing loss. Usually it is most notable during the night or when you are surrounded by quiet.
What Do I Do If I Have Tinnitus?
Although there is no cure for tinnitus, there are several ways that it can be managed. Speak to Darroch Hearing today about your options as soon as you start experiencing the symptoms.