“What’s that ringing in my ears?” “How can I make that noise go away?”
If you find yourself making these kinds of statements, you may have tinnitus, a common hearing issue where you hear noises or experience a sound that other people don’t hear. You’re not alone. Tinnitus is a condition that impacts millions of people.
Most describe it as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a dial tone, pulsing noise, buzzing, or whistling.
Ringing in the ears may seem harmless, depending on its intensity. But there are definitely times when you shouldn’t neglect it. Something more serious might be the root cause of these sounds.
You need to take the following 6 symptoms seriously.
1. Your Quality of Life is Being Affected by The Ringing in Your Ears
26% of people who suffer from tinnitus experience symptoms continuously, based on some studies.
This irritating, ever-present noise can result in all kinds of relationship troubles, insomnia, anxiety, and even depression.
It can be a struggle between the tinnitus noise and something as basic as trying to hear your friend give you a recipe over the phone. You may snap at your grandson, who asks a simple question, because the ringing makes you stressed.
Continuous ringing can cause a vicious cycle. The ringing gets louder as your stress level rises. Loud noise makes you more nervous and so on.
If tinnitus is contributing to these types of life challenges, it’s time to deal with 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 Begins After You Switch Medications
Doctors may try several different medications to treat the same condition whether you have chronic pain or cancer. Some of these will have side effects so significant that you may want to ask about alternatives. If your tinnitus began or got seriously worse after you started a new drug, look at that list of side effects and speak with your doctor.
Tinnitus may be caused by some common medications. These include some kinds of:
- Loop Diuretics
- 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)
3. It’s Accompanied by Headache, Blurred Vision, or Seizures
This often means that your tinnitus symptoms are being caused by high blood pressure. When you have hypertension, the blood circulation to your inner ear is restricted. Your general health is also at risk with high blood pressure. Over time, it may cause or worsen age-related hearing loss.
4. You Always Seem to be Leaving Work, The Gym, or a Concert When You Hear it
If you only hear the tinnitus after you leave a noisy setting like a concert, aerobics class, factory, or bar, then the place you were just in had noise levels above safe levels. If you ignore this occasional tinnitus and don’t begin to protect your ears, it will likely become permanent over time. And hearing loss will probably accompany it.
If you are going to be exposed to loud sound, use the following to safeguard your hearing:
- Using earplugs
- Not standing too close to the speakers
- Giving your ears a regular break by stepping outside or into the restroom, if possible, at least once every hour
Follow the rules regarding earplugs and earmuffs if you work in a noisy setting. They’re designed to protect you, but they only work if you use protective gear 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 come along with paralysis, headaches, 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 have hearing loss that seems to get worse, then get better, then worse again? Are you sometimes dizzy? If these symptoms are occurring along with tinnitus, you might need to get tested for Menier’s disease. This produces a fluid imbalance in your ears. Your risk of falling due to lack of balance will get worse if this condition is left untreated.
Hearing loss is frequently signaled by tinnitus. So if you are experiencing it, you need to have your hearing examined more frequently. Get in touch with us to make an appointment for a hearing test.