Tinnitus is a common symptom experienced by about 44 million Americans regularly or occasionally.
It is usually described as a ringing in the head or ears. It can also manifest as many other ongoing sounds such as hissing, chirping, whooshing, clicking, whistling, roaring, and buzzing. These are called nonpulsatile forms of tinnitus. The symptom can also be pulsatile, which describes a sound that mimics the heartbeat or pulse.
Tinnitus is a symptom that occurs due to some underlying condition. It can’t be traced to one single cause, but instead a number of factors can trigger tinnitus, including:
- Hearing loss or damage
- Prolonged, repeated, or sudden noise exposure
- Injuries and diseases of the head, ears, nervous system, or heart
- TMJ disorder
- Hypertension, stress, or headaches
- Excessive buildup of earwax
- Certain medications
- Acoustic tumors or cysts
Lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, and tobacco use can also influence tinnitus.
The key to managing tinnitus is to consult with your doctor and hearing health professional to help identify any underlying condition(s).
Up to 85% of those suffering from tinnitus also have hearing loss.
Treatment for hearing loss with amplification can improve the underlying symptom of tinnitus. Because tinnitus is unique from person to person, it is important to find a treatment plan individualized to work best for you.
If you’re one of the millions of people across the U.S. suffering from tinnitus, talk to the specialists at Central Oregon ENT for your personalized treatment options.