What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is an ear condition that has affected approximately 29 million Americans according to the American Academy of Audiology. It is common in both children and adults who are exposed to loud noises on a regular and consistent basis. When the issue is not addressed, tinnitus can lead to hearing loss. Learn more about tinnitus and how this auditory issue can be resolved by seeing an ENT doctor.
Tinnitus Is Hard to Ignore...
You will definitely know if you have tinnitus symptoms. It causes a ringing, buzzing, or whining sound in your head that is impossible to ignore after a while. It can happen in one or both ears. In some cases, the ringing is intermittent, but in other more concerning cases, it happens continually throughout the day. The American Academy of Audiology reports that about 40 percent of patients experience the symptoms for about 80 percent of the day.
Tinnitus is prevalent in Americans because of certain habits that many people have. It can also be caused by pre-existing medical conditions or injuries. Here are some of the most common causes:
- Listening to loud music at home or at concerts.
- Wearing headphones and turning them all the way up.
- Middle ear infections.
- Congenital hearing disorders (ear conditions from birth).
- TMJ disorder, which is a problem related to the hinges of the jaw.
- Whiplash injury.
- Allergic reactions to food.
- Hypertension and thyroid issues.
Can Tinnitus Be Treated?
It is possible for an ENT to most successfully treat tinnitus in its early stages, which is why it is wise to see a doctor as soon as you start to hear unusual sounds. If it is caused by an underlying condition, like an ear infection, medication will usually resolve the problem. Sound therapy, also called Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, can help relieve symptoms. In the case of hearing loss, hearing aids may be prescribed. Cochlear implants restore inner ear function.
It is important that you see a doctor immediately if you suspect you may have tinnitus.
Early treatment can help save your hearing.
Call Dr. George Bauer in Fairfield, OH at 513-860-4771 today to schedule an ear exam.