Updated November 1, 2016 – What is Tinnitus? The easiest way to describe Tinnitus is as the swishing, ringing noise or one’s own heartbeat that a person is able to hear when external sounds have been eliminated. This condition is actually more common than one would think with close to 36 Million American displaying symptoms connected with Tinnitus. Tinnitus can be very disturbing for someone suffering from the symptoms as people in the same environment do not hear the ringing, swishing, or buzzing. Tinnitus usually affects both ears and it appears to stick in males more often than females.
The causes of Tinnitus can arise from a broad spectrum of issues, from mild to very serious. Perhaps the most common cause of Tinnitus is the degeneration of nerve endings due to old age or extreme exposure to loud noises, music or gun fire (hearing loss). If the cochlea is damages, it is thought that the brain produces its own sounds to make up for the lack of external sounds heard, due to the hearing loss. Unfortunately, as we are exposed to harmful loud noises we are not making the conscious decision to eliminate those from our lives.
Another common cause of Tinnitus is a backup of wax, (from using things like Q-tips) as the wax builds up it makes our internal noises more noticeable by blocking external sounds from over powering them.
Tinnitus can also be caused by infection or fluid backup in different parts of the ears, such as the middle ear bone or in the ear drum itself. Tinnitus can also result when Aspirin is overused for extended period of time. In extreme cases, Tinnitus can be a symptom of a tumor.
Prevention is relatively simple. Make it a personal responsibly to make sure to limit exposure to excessively loud noises. It is very important to make sure that at the work place ear plugs are used in regulation with State and Federal guidelines. As well as making changes to limit sound levels when using firearms, attending concerts and any type of event with excessive noise levels. If the Tinnitus is link back to wax build up – stop using things like Q-Tips, which compact the problem. Also, limit the amount of Aspirin consumed.
Some people find it helpful to use sound machine or small hearing aids to help drown out the sounds associated with Tinnitus. Sound machines can be useful for people who are having trouble sleeping because of the sounds associated with Tinnitus.