Signs and Symptoms of Tinnitus

Signs and Symptoms of Tinnitus

Over 50 million Americans are thought to have tinnitus, with 40% of them suffering from a chronic version of the condition. Two million people have phantom sounds in their ears that are so extreme, their lives are disrupted by it. 

In most cases, there’s no actual sound occurring. Most reasons for tinnitus are due to issues that cause your auditory nerves to pass false signals to the brain. Though there’s usually no cure, treatments exist that mask the phantom sounds or help you cope with distraction. 

The first step is to visit a tinnitus specialist like the team at Professional Hearing and Balance Service. Audiologist Bee Pathak can check the condition of your ears and hearing, including a check for earwax blockage, one of the few conditions that can be treated to eliminate tinnitus. Once the signs and symptoms of your tinnitus are assessed, you can review the treatment options open to you. 

The sounds of tinnitus

Though it’s commonly called “ringing in the ears,” ringing describes only one type of sound you can experience when you have tinnitus. Other sounds commonly experienced are described as: 

Sounds can be constant, or they may come and go. Sometimes, you may experience a tinnitus sound under certain conditions, such as when you’re exposed to loud noises, like on a factory floor or at a concert. It’s possible to have more than one type of tinnitus sound. 

Reasons for tinnitus

Often, a precise reason for tinnitus is never established. It can accompany hearing loss, particularly presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss. Small hairs in your cochlea create the electrical impulses that your brain interprets as sound. Damage to these hairs leads to hearing loss, and abnormal impulses originating at these hairs can be interpreted as the sounds you hear as tinnitus. 

Ear canal blockages can also cause tinnitus. Earwax (cerumen) is a common cause of blockage, but it’s easily removed by a medical professional, so it’s one case where your tinnitus may stop after treatment. 

Head or neck injuries can affect the operation of the inner ear and could start tinnitus. Injuries typically cause phantom sounds on one side only. 

Some medications, such as some antibiotics, antidepressants, drugs used for cancer treatment, diuretics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause tinnitus. Higher doses can make tinnitus more severe, and stopping the medication often stops the unwanted sound. 

Less common reasons for tinnitus include diseases and conditions like: 

Having any of these diseases or disorders raises your risk of tinnitus, as does exposure to loud noise repeatedly over time, tobacco consumption, and alcohol use. 

Contact Professional Hearing and Balance Service when you recognize any sounds associated with tinnitus. You can reach the office by calling 703-478-9898, or visit us online to set up your personal consultation today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What Is Live Speech Mapping?

One issue that reduces the effectiveness of hearing aids is the adjustment process. The transition to hearing with assistive devices often means multiple appointments for fine-tuning. Live speech mapping helps to speed the process.

Losing Your Hearing? Take These Steps

Despite the fact that hearing loss affects almost half of the population 65 and over, some people have little idea about what they should do when they realize they can’t hear as well as they once did. For most, the first stop is an audiologist.

Best Facility to Test and Treat Balance Disorder

Balance disorders range from temporary spells to chronic conditions that make daily living difficult. You may even be at increased risk of injury from falling or loss of control. An audiologist’s office is often the best place to go for treatment.

More information on Balance Disorder

Balance disorders include everything from simple, short-duration dizziness to symptoms of severe spinning, vertigo, and accompanying nausea. They can be momentary sensations or episodes that interfere with daily living.

Here's How We Treat Balance Disorder

It’s easy to see the role of the audiologist when you think in terms of hearing tests and fitting hearing aids. It’s not commonly known that they also specialize in balance disorders, since your ears play a key role in orienting your body.