“What’s that annoying sound in my ears?” “Why won’t that noise stop?”
You could be dealing with tinnitus, a common hearing disorder that manifests sounds in your ears that no one else can hear, if you find yourself making these types of statements. This is more common than you may think. Tinnitus is a disorder that impacts millions of people.
Ringing, buzzing, pulsing, or whistling are the sounds that the majority of people describe.
Depending on the severity, ringing in the ears may seem harmless. But there are definitely times when you shouldn’t ignore it. Tinnitus symptoms can often be a sign of something more serious taking place in your body.
Here are 6 tinnitus symptoms you need to take seriously.
1. Your Quality of Life is Being Affected by The Ringing in Your Ears
Some research suggests that 26% of tinnitus sufferers experience that ringing on a nearly constant basis.
Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and relationship issues are all possible repercussions of this ever present ringing.
It can be a struggle between the tinnitus noise and something as simple as trying to hear your friend tell you a recipe over the phone. You may snap at your grandson, who asks a simple question, because the ringing stresses you out.
Continuous ringing can cause a vicious cycle. As your stress level goes up, the ringing gets louder. Loud noise makes you more anxious and so on.
If tinnitus is contributing to these kinds of life challenges, it’s time to address it. It’s there, and your life is being affected. The noise can be reduced or eliminated with available treatment options.
2. After You Switched Medications, Your Ears Began to Ring
Doctors may try various different medications to treat the same condition whether you have chronic pain or cancer. Some of these will have side effects so extreme that you might want to ask about alternate options. If your tinnitus started or got significantly worse after you started a new medication, look at that list of side effects and talk to your doctor.
Tinnitus may be caused by some common medications. Here are a few examples:
- Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
- Loop Diuretics
3. It’s Accompanied by Blurred Vision, Headache, or Seizures
This may be a sign that high blood pressure is creating your tinnitus. When you have hypertension, the blood circulation to your inner ear is restricted. Unregulated high blood pressure is also dangerous for your total health. Age related hearing loss, as time passes, will worsen because of this.
4. You Always Seem to be Leaving Work, The Gym, or a Concert When You Hear it
If you leave a noisy place like a factory, bar, concert, or fitness class, and you start to hear tinnitus noises, you were probably exposed to unsafe levels of noise and that’s most likely the cause of these noises. It becomes increasingly likely that these noises will become irreversible the more frequently you disregard them and neglect using ear protection. And hearing loss will usually accompany it.
If you are going to be exposed to loud noise, use the following to safeguard your hearing:
- Using earplugs
- Standing a bit further away from loud speakers
- Giving your ears a regular break by going outside or into the restroom, if possible, at least once every hour
Adhere to the rules pertaining to earplugs and earmuffs if you work in a loud environment. They’re designed to protect you, but they only work if you wear protective gear correctly.
5. You Also Have Facial Paralysis
We hope you wouldn’t ignore facial paralysis irrespective of whether you have ringing in your ears. But when the tinnitus symptoms are accompanied by paralysis, headaches, and nausea, this might be a sign of a slow-growing benign brain tumor called an acoustic neuroma.
6. Fluctuating Hearing Loss is Accompanying Tinnitus
Do you have hearing loss that seems to worsen, then get better, then worse again? Are you sometimes dizzy? When accompanied by tinnitus, this indicates you need to be screened for Meniere’s disease. This causes your ears to ears get a fluid imbalance. Your risk of falling caused by lack of balance will worsen if this condition is left untreated.
Hearing loss is often signaled by tinnitus. So you should get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing it. Give us a call to set up an appointment.