You like listening to music. Sometimes, you play it a bit too loud. Before you know it, you start hearing that constant ringing in your ears. At first, you might think that this is temporary. However, soon you realise that the ringing is still there. It just does not stop. Be careful, because that might be a sign or a symptom that you have tinnitus in your ears. The tinnitus symptoms can be distracting and disturbing.
Before we go on, what is tinnitus? How serious can it be?
That persistent sound in your ear that comes out of nowhere is what we call “tinnitus”. Most people who suffer from it may describe the sound as “that constant, mysterious and annoying ringing in their ears”. However, it can be different in other cases. Other people who suffer from tinnitus might describe that sound as:
– Other types of noises and sometimes a combination of more than one sound
How loud can each type of sound really get in your ears? It also varies. It can sound really low, like a muffled buzz or a faint roar. It can also sound really loud, like a high-pitch or a squeal. If it gets too loud, then good luck in trying to concentrate hearing the actual sounds around you. This is a problem for people who work in music industry.
How often does tinnitus occur? Once again, it depends each case. To some people, that sound can come just once in a while and then it goes away. However, some people also hear the sound more consistently, like it is there for a longer period. Some even have trouble sleeping because of it. They keep hearing the same ringing in their ears.
Based on the database in National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), around 10% adults in the United States, which are about 25 millions, have experienced a tinnitus that lasts about five minutes per episode. Men are also easier to suffer from tinnitus and it gets even worse if they also have a smoking habit.
The older you get, the more chances you might have tinnitus in your ear as well. No need to wait, though. It is still important that you find out more about it now.
Two types of tinnitus:
Actually, there are two types of tinnitus, based on how many people can hear it. It does not matter whether it is a ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, or even a hissing sound. Tinnitus is classified in two different types, which are:
How do you know that your tinnitus is the subjective one? You will know that it is a subjective tinnitus when you are the only one who can hear it. The cause of it is probably something in your ear that needs to be checked out by a doctor. Sometimes, some nerve signals get misinterpreted in the brain as sound or auditory pathways.
This kind of tinnitus is probably the much easier one to detect. When you go to a doctor to have it checked, they can hear it too through an examination. They will put a stethoscope in your ear and listen to any possible sounds.
However, you need to be cautious with this type of tinnitus. A problem in your blood vessel, a middle ear bone problem, or the contractions in the muscle can be the cause for this.
Other factors to consider before visiting your doctor due to the tinnitus:
Some people may take tinnitus for granted, especially if it is the type to come and go away. As long as they can still hear, then it should be okay. However, you need to be more aware and start considering a visit to the doctor if it gets any worse. In fact, do a regular check-up before it gets worse.
Make an appointment with your doctor if your tinnitus appears after an upper respiratory infection and you catch a cold from it.
Of course, other factors are considered urgent if:
- Tinnitus comes completely out of the blue, without any cause.
- Tinnitus takes away your hearing ability and makes you feel dizzy. Well, it is not like you suddenly go deaf. You just have a hard time separating the actual sounds with that “phantom sound” in your ear.
If you have the last symptoms mentioned above, then this is something that you just cannot ignore. Get medical help immediately from your doctor. Why? Because there is a possibility that you might have a Meniere’s disease. It is a neurological problem that requires further medical treatment.
Can tinnitus be prevented?
Unfortunately, as you age, you have more chances to experience tinnitus symptoms. However, you can reduce that possibility by not listening to loud music too often and getting a regular, medical check-up to make sure it can be handled as early as possible.