The imaginary ringing in your ears may not be all in your head!

TINNITUS is a condition in which ringing or buzzing is heard in the ears. People also describe tinnitus as a humming, grinding, hissing or whistling. It can vary in severity, with most people reporting mild symptoms. But all sufferers agree, it can have a significant impact on the quality of their lives, especially as it affects concentration and sleep.

It’s disconcerting to hear sounds that no one else can hear, and therefore you may wonder if you are imagining things. However, one in ten Americans experience it.

Often associated with hearing loss, tinnitus has a variety of causes, including:

  • Inner ear cell damage
  • Trauma or conditions that affect the nerves in your ear
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Exposure to loud or excessive noise
  • Earwax blockage
  • Meniere's disease
  • Head or neck injuries
  • High blood pressure
  • Some medications, including antibiotics
  • Numerous medical conditions
  • Otosclerosis (calcification of the bones in the middle ear)

More than just ringing in your ears, tinnitus is also associated with these symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Sleep problems
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and irritability

Myths regarding tinnitus:

There is no treatment for tinnitus: False.

Sometimes tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. If possible, treat that condition first. But when symptoms can’t be treated medically, there are other options that may help reduce or mask the unwanted noise. Hearing aids can provide acoustic stimulation to the nerve pathways in the ear so that over time, the condition may become less bothersome. To find out more about how hearing aids can treat tinnitus, schedule a free hearing assessment at Total Hearing Care.

Tinnitus causes deafness: False.

Tinnitus does not cause hearing loss. But some people with hearing loss experience tinnitus.

Tinnitus is a symptom of a serious illness: False.

Although occasionally triggered by an illness, tinnitus is rarely a symptom of a serious problem. It may be an early indicator of Meniere's disease, an inner ear disorder that may be caused by abnormal inner ear fluid pressure.