“Why am I hearing a ringing noise in my ears?” “How can I make that sound go away?”
If you find yourself making these kinds of statements, you could be dealing with tinnitus, a common hearing condition where you hear noises or perceive a sound that others don’t hear. This is more common than you might 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, whistling, or buzzing.
Depending on the severity, ringing in the ears may seem harmless. But tinnitus shouldn’t always be neglected. Something more significant might be the root cause of these noises.
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 studies indicate that 26% of tinnitus sufferers cope with that ringing on an almost continuous basis.
Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and relationship issues are all possible outcomes of this ever present ringing.
It can be a battle between the tinnitus sound and something as basic as trying to hear your friend tell you a recipe over the phone. You might snap at your grandchild, who asks a simple question, because the ringing makes you stressed.
A vicious cycle can be the outcome of this constant ringing. As your stress level rises, the ringing gets louder. And you get more anxious the louder the noise is and on and on.
If your tinnitus is leading to these types of life challenges, you shouldn’t ignore it. It’s real, and it impacts your quality of life. The noise can be decreased or eliminated with available treatment options.
2. The Noise in Your Ears Starts After You Change Medications
Whether you have chronic back pain or cancer, doctors might try numerous different medications to deal with the same ailment. Some of these will have side effects so significant that you might want to ask about alternate options. If your tinnitus started or got seriously worse after you started a new drug, look at that list of side effects and talk to your doctor.
Some common medications may cause tinnitus. Here are a few examples:
- Loop Diuretics
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
- Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
3. It’s Accompanied by Headache, Blurred Vision, or Seizures
This may be a sign that high blood pressure is contributing to your tinnitus. The blood circulation in your inner ear is restricted when you have hypertension. Unregulated high blood pressure is also dangerous for your general health. Over time, it could cause or worsen age-related hearing loss.
4. You Only Hear it After You Leave a Gym, Concert, or Work
If you only hear the tinnitus after you leave a noisy place such as a concert, aerobics class, factory, or bar, then the place you just left had unsafe levels of noise. If you neglect this episodic tinnitus and don’t start to safeguard your ears, it will likely become permanent over time. And hearing loss will usually accompany it.
If you enjoy a loud night out, take precautions like:
- Wearing earplugs
- Giving your ears a periodic break by going outside or into the restroom, if possible, at least once an hour
- Standing a little further away from loud speakers
Follow the rules regarding earplugs and earmuffs if you work in a noisy setting. Your safety gear will only effectively 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 the tinnitus symptoms are accompanied by paralysis, headaches, and nausea, this may be a sign of a slow-growing benign brain tumor called an acoustic neuroma.
6. Fluctuating Hearing Loss is Accompanying Tinnitus
Do you have hearing loss that seems to worsen, then get better, then worse again? Are you sometimes dizzy? If these symptoms are happening along with tinnitus, you may need to get tested for Menier’s disease. This makes your ears get a fluid imbalance. Your risk of falling due to lack of balance will worsen if this condition is left untreated.
Tinnitus is frequently a sign of hearing loss. So you should get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing it. Reach out to us to make an appointment for a hearing test.