What makes my ears ring?

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Tinnitus is a condition that only the person experiencing it perceives. Some people may hear high-pitched sounds, others may hear clicks, and others may experience something completely different. When someone complains of ringing, buzzing, or clicking in the ears, it is called tinnitus .

Tinnitus has many causes. If you have just attended a concert and are wondering why you have ringing in your ears, you will be happy to know that the ringing will most likely go away in a day or two.

The bad news is that you probably have a small hearing loss from prolonged exposure to loud noises. Loud noise is just one of the reasons for ringing in the ears (more on this below), other reasons include the following.

Get Medication Information / Gary Foerster

Too much wax

Believe it or not, too simple an amount of earwax can cause tinnitus due to a blockage in the ear canal . You should be very careful when trying to remove the wax yourself. Seeking professional help from your healthcare provider is the safest option.

If you are trying to remove earwax yourself, you should avoid showing your ears . People who have surgery to have ventilation tubes in their ears or who may have a ruptured eardrum should not use over-the-counter wax removers.

Middle ear infections

Middle ear infections , also called otitis media, occur when germs enter the auditory tube, a small tube that runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat. This is usually due to a blockage or obstruction in the ear tube, often mucous.

Middle ear infections are more common in children than adults because of the size and shape of a child's ear tube, but ear infections do occur in adults. If the ringing in your ears is caused by a middle ear infection, you will most likely have other symptoms as well, and the ringing will go away when the infection clears.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Hot
  • Earache
  • Hearing loss
  • Dizziness

Hearing loss

The older you get, the more you lose hearing and the more likely you are to experience ringing in your ears. Of course , aging is not the only cause of hearing loss. Long-term exposure to loud noise is a serious cause of hearing loss and can cause tinnitus .

Changes in blood flow

Changes in blood flow, such as high blood pressure or anemia, can cause tinnitus. Sometimes changes in blood flow can cause a ringing in the ears, called pulsatile tinnitus, in which the heart beats in the ears. Less commonly, pulsatile tinnitus can be caused by tumors in or around the ear .

Meniere's disease

Meniere 's disease is a little-known condition that usually affects only one ear. In addition to tinnitus, it causes dizziness (severe dizziness and imbalance), headaches, hearing loss, nausea, and vomiting.

The cause of Ménière's disease is unknown, but it could be a genetic component, and many people with a history of Ménière's disease have migraines .

Medicines

Some medications can cause tinnitus. Some medications are really bad for the ears and are called ototoxic . Ototoxic medications can damage the inner ear and cause hearing loss.

A common drug that can cause this is aspirin (usually when taken in high doses or for a long period of time). If you hear ringing in your ears and you are taking aspirin, stop taking it immediately.

Other ototoxic medications include certain antibiotics such as gentamicin, but the list of ototoxic medications is long. If you have recently started taking a new medicine and have tinnitus, you should talk to your doctor.

Some medications are not ototoxic, but they can cause tinnitus and raise blood pressure. An example of this is taking a nasal decongestant like Sudafed ( pseudoephedrine ), which is known to cause tinnitus.

Exposure to a lot of noise

Tinnitus that occurs after attending a concert or shooting range is fairly easy to spot, but you might be surprised to learn that prolonged exposure to noise, even 80 decibels or more, can cause tinnitus and consequent loss of noise. hearing.

Even listening to headphones at too high a volume can damage your hearing. Other noises over 80 decibels include a kitchen blender, motorcycle engine, lawn mower, chainsaws, hand drills, hair dryers, and screaming.

Loud noise damages the tiny hair cells in the cochlea that are essential for hearing. Unfortunately, after damage, these cells never recover.

The only good news? Hearing loss due to noise is highly preventable and tinnitus is one of the first symptoms of hearing loss. To avoid hearing loss, turn down the volume, wear earplugs, and limit exposure to loud noises .

Other causes of ringing in the ears.

You may also experience ringing in the ears in the following cases:

  • Stress
  • Migraine
  • Head injury
  • Broken eardrum
  • Temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ)
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Otosclerosis
  • Of smoking
  • Labyrinthitis
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