“What’s that ringing in my ears?” “How can I make that sound go away?”
If you find yourself saying things like this, you may have tinnitus, a common hearing issue that causes you to hear noises or experience a sound that others don’t hear. This is more common than you may think. Millions of people have this disorder.
Most describe it as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a dial tone, pulsing noise, buzzing, or whistling.
Depending on the intensity, ringing in the ears may seem harmless. But there are absolutely times when you shouldn’t ignore it. Something more serious may be the underlying cause of these sounds.
Here are 6 tinnitus symptoms you really should take seriously.
1. Your Quality of Life is Being Affected by The Ringing in Your Ears
Some research indicates that 26% of people with tinnitus cope with that ringing on a nearly continuous basis.
Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and relationship troubles are all possible repercussions of this ever present ringing.
Something as basic as listening to your daughter share a recipe over the phone becomes a struggle between her voice and the noise that overshadows it. You might snap at your grandchild, who simply asks a question, because the ringing makes you stressed.
Continuous ringing can cause 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 leading to these kinds of life challenges, it’s time to address it. It’s there, and your life is being affected. The noise can be decreased or eliminated with obtainable treatment choices.
2. The Noise in Your Ears Starts After You Switch Medications
Whether you have chronic back pain or cancer, doctors might try several different medications to treat the same condition. You might ask for a different option if you begin to experience significant side effects. If your tinnitus started or got seriously 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.
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
- Loop Diuretics
3. It’s Accompanied by Headache, Blurred Vision, or Seizures
This normally indicates that your tinnitus symptoms are being caused by high blood pressure. The blood circulation in your inner ear is restricted when you have hypertension. Unregulated high blood pressure is also dangerous for your general health. Age related hearing loss, as time passes, will get worse because of this.
4. You Only Hear it When Leaving a Concert, Gym, or Work
If you only hear the tinnitus after you leave a noisy setting such as a concert, aerobics class, factory, or bar, then the place you were just in had noise levels above safe levels. If you disregard this occasional tinnitus and don’t begin to safeguard your ears, it will most likely become permanent over time. And it’s commonly accompanied by hearing loss.
If you enjoy a loud 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 noisy place, follow work rules pertaining to earplugs and earmuffs. Your safety gear will only successfully protect you if you use it correctly.
5. You Also Have Facial Paralysis
Whether you have ringing in your ears or not, you should never disregard 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. Fluctuating Hearing Loss is Accompanying Tinnitus
Do you experience hearing loss that seems to get worse, then get better, then worse again? Are you sometimes dizzy? When accompanied by tinnitus, this means you need to be tested for Meniere’s disease. This produces a fluid imbalance in your ears. Your risk of falling due to 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 examined more frequently. Get in touch with us to make an appointment for a hearing test.