“What’s that annoying sound in my ears?” “Why won’t that noise stop?”
If you find yourself saying things like this, you may be dealing with tinnitus, a common hearing condition where you hear noises or experience a sound that other people don’t hear. This is more common than you might think. Tinnitus is a disorder that impacts millions of people.
Most describe it as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a pulsing noise, a dial tone, whistling, or buzzing.
Ringing in the ears may seem harmless, depending on its severity. But there are definitely times when you shouldn’t disregard it. Something more serious may be the root cause of these sounds.
Here are 6 tinnitus symptoms you should take seriously.
1. The Ringing in Your Ears is Affecting The Quality of Your Life
26% of individuals who suffer from tinnitus cope with symptoms constantly, according to some studies.
This frustrating, ever-present noise can bring about all kinds of relationship troubles, insomnia, anxiety, and even depression.
Something as basic as listening to your daughter share a recipe on the phone becomes a battle between her voice and the noise that overpowers it. The constant ringing has stressed you out to the point where you snap at a member of the family who simply asks you a question.
A vicious cycle can be the result of this constant ringing. The ringing gets louder as your stress level goes up. Loud noise makes you more nervous and so on.
If tinnitus is causing these types of life challenges, it’s time to address it. It’s real, and it impacts your quality of life. The noise can be reduced or eliminated with obtainable treatment choices.
2. After You Changed Medications, Your Ears Began to Ring
Doctors might try numerous different medications to treat the same ailment whether you have chronic pain or cancer. Some of these will have side effects so extreme that you may want to ask about alternate options. If your tinnitus began or got significantly worse after you started a new drug, look at that list of side effects and talk to your doctor.
Tinnitus may be caused by some common medications. These include some forms of:
- Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
- Loop Diuretics
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
3. Blurred Vision, Seizures, And Headache Come With Tinnitus Noises
This often indicates that your tinnitus symptoms are being caused by high blood pressure. The blood flow in your inner ear is compromised when you suffer from hypertension. Unregulated high blood pressure is also dangerous for your general health. As time passes, it may cause or worsen age-related hearing loss.
4. You Only Hear it After You Leave a Concert, Gym, or Work
If you leave a noisy place such as a factory, bar, concert, or fitness class, and you begin to hear tinnitus noises, you were probably exposed to unsafe noise levels and that’s most likely the cause of these noises. It becomes increasingly likely that these noises will become permanent the more frequently you disregard them and skip using ear protection. And it’s usually accompanied by hearing loss.
If you’re going to be exposed to loud noise, use the following to protect your hearing:
- Using earplugs
- Giving your ears a regular break by going into the restroom or outside, if possible, at least once an hour
- Standing a bit further away from loud speakers
If you work in a loud environment, adhere to work rules regarding earplugs and earmuffs. Your safety gear will only effectively protect you if you use it correctly.
5. You Also Have Facial Paralysis
We hope you wouldn’t ignore facial paralysis irrespective of whether you have ringing in your ears. But when you have paralysis, nausea, headaches, and you also have tinnitus, it’s possible that you may have an acoustic neuroma (a slow growing benign brain tumor).
6. You Experience Fluctuating Hearing Loss With it
Do you have hearing loss that seems to get worse, then get better, then worse again? Are you sometimes dizzy? When accompanied by tinnitus, this indicates you need to be evaluated for Meniere’s disease. This causes a fluid imbalance in your ears. Your risk of falling caused by lack of balance will worsen if this condition is left untreated.
Hearing loss is often signaled by tinnitus. So if you’re experiencing it, you should have your hearing examined more frequently. Reach out to us to make an appointment for a hearing test.