Environmental, Physical Causes of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a condition in which ringing, humming, or whistling sound is heard in the ear. The sound can be intermittent or constant. There are a variety of factors that can cause tinnitus. The common sources are as follows:

Environmental

  • Noisy work environment.

Any work situations that involve the use of heavy power tools, such as saws or drills, can cause a temporary spell of tinnitus. The chances of developing the condition permanently greatly increases with the length of time spent in the loud surroundings. Because of this, it’s advised to wear ear plugs when using or operating loud machinery.

  • Medications.

Over the counter medications and prescriptions have been known to provoke tinnitus. Aspirin, chloroquine, and quinine are common medicines that can generate tinnitus symptoms. Certain diuretics and cancer drugs have also been linked to tinnitus.

 

Physical

o   Variations in the bones of the middle ear.

In some individuals, the anatomy of the inner ear can change or structures can harden. This process is called otosclerosis, and when it happens to the incus, malleus, stapes bones it will cause ringing in the ears, which will worsen over time.

o   Injuries and diseases.

There are numerous medical conditions that have been known to cause tinnitus, such as brain tumors, head or neck injuries, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) and Meniere’s disease.

o   Ear Wax.

When the ear becomes impacted with wax, tinnitus can occur. This is due to the hardening of the wax blocking the ear canal and irritating it.

o   Aging.

As an individual ages, so does the progression of hearing loss. This hearing loss can trigger tinnitus symptoms.

o   Vascular problems.

Hypertension can cause increased pressure on the blood vessels near the ear. This type of tinnitus is described as pulsating, as it corresponds with the rhythm of the heart.