Tinnitus is a condition in which ringing, humming, or whistling sound is heard in the ear. If you or someone you love has suffered from tinnitus, chances are you know how bothersome it can be. Luckily, there are things that can be done to improve symptoms.

Practicing proper tinnitus management can greatly improve any discomfort you may be experiencing. The sound can be intermittent or constant. There are a variety of factors that can cause tinnitus. Additionally, tinnitus can be either temporary or permanent conditions. Learn more about how hearing aids help tinnitus victims reduce the effects of permanent tinnitus. Most experience the temporary version after experiencing prolonged loud noises. The common sources are as follows:

Environmental Causes of Tinnitus

Your environment can have a strong impact on the extent of your tinnitus. Understanding the risks present in your particular environment can help you prevent and manage tinnitus symptoms.

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. NexGen Hearing is We certified by WorkSafeBC (WCB) to provide annual hearing tests to employees who are exposed to hazardous noise. For more information, check out our Industrial Hearing page.

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. If you have started a new medical regiment and have started experiencing tinnitus, there is a strong chance the drugs are at least in part to blame. Make sure to raise any concerns you have to your doctor or audiologist. They might be able to recommend strategies to manage or cope with your tinnitus.

Physical Causes of Tinnitus

In addition to the environmental factors which can influence your tinnitus, there are physical factors which can influence tinnitus. They are:

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. The exact cause of otosclerosis is unclear, but some scientists think it could be related to previous illnesses, stress fractures in the bony tissue surrounding the inner ear, immune disorders, or hereditary conditions.

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. Getting a proper diagnosis is essential as it not only helps you treat your tinnitus but also identify and treat any underlying cause.

Ear Wax

When the ear becomes full with wax, tinnitus can occur. This is called earwax impaction. Ear wax impaction can happen for a number of reasons including bony blockages (osteoma or exostoses), swimmer’s dear, skin disease, autoimmune disease, a narrowed ear canal, injury, or placing objects in the ear including q-tips.

Aging

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

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. Vascular problems can lead to pulsatile tinnitus, and you may hear sounds such as your own pulse or the contractions of your muscles.

Get the Treatment You Need for Tinnitus

If you believe you are suffering from tinnitus, make sure you get the treatment that you need. As we have learned, tinnitus can have many causes. Depending on the cause of your particular case of tinnitus, your treatment will vary. If you have questions about tinnitus, contact us today!

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