“Why am I hearing a ringing noise in my ears?” “How can I make that noise go away?”
If you find yourself making these kinds of statements, you may be dealing with tinnitus, a common hearing problem that causes you to hear noises or experience a sound that others don’t hear. You’re not alone. Tinnitus is a condition that affects millions of people.
Ringing, pulsing, whistling, or buzzing are the sounds that most people describe.
Ringing in the ears may seem harmless, depending on its intensity. But tinnitus shouldn’t always be ignored. 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
26% of people who have tinnitus cope with symptoms continuously, according to some studies.
This aggravating, ever-present noise can bring about all kinds of relationship issues, anxiety, insomnia, and even depression.
It can be a battle between the tinnitus noise and something as simple as attempting to hear your friend tell you a recipe over the phone. You may snap at your grandson, who simply asks a question, because the ringing stresses you out.
Continuous ringing can become a vicious cycle. The ringing gets louder as your stress level rises. Loud noise makes you more anxious and so on.
If tinnitus is causing these types of life challenges, it’s time to deal with it. It’s real, and it affects your quality of life. The noise can be decreased or eliminated with obtainable treatment choices.
2. After You Changed Medications, Your Ears Started to Ring
Doctors might try several different medications to manage the same ailment whether you have chronic pain or cancer. Some of these will have side effects so extreme that you might want to ask about alternate options. If your tinnitus started or got seriously worse after you started a new medication, look at that list of side effects and speak with your doctor.
Some common medications may cause tinnitus. 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 might be a sign that high blood pressure is creating your tinnitus. When you have hypertension, the flow of blood to your inner ear is restricted. High blood pressure that goes unmanaged is also dangerous for your overall health. Age related hearing loss, as time passes, will get worse because of this.
4. You Only Hear it After You Leave a Gym, Concert, or Work
If you only hear the tinnitus when you leave a noisy setting like a factory, concert, aerobics class, or bar, then the place you just left had noise levels above safe levels. It becomes increasingly likely that these noises will become irreversible the more frequently you ignore them and skip using ear protection. And it’s commonly accompanied by hearing loss.
If you are going to be exposed to loud noise, use the following to protect your hearing:
- At least once an hour, step outside or into the restroom to give your ears a break
- Standing a bit further away from loud speakers
- Wearing earplugs
If you work in a loud environment, adhere to work rules pertaining to earmuffs and earplugs. 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 ignore facial paralysis. But when the tinnitus symptoms are accompanied by headaches, paralysis, and nausea, this might be a sign of a slow-growing benign brain tumor called an acoustic neuroma.
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 suggests you need to be screened for Meniere’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.
Hearing loss is often signaled by tinnitus. So you should get your hearing tested if you’re experiencing it. Reach out to us to make an appointment for a hearing test.