Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from a ringing in their ear that no one else can hear, but affects their lives on a daily basis. This problem is called tinnitus and is a symptom that may develop when someone suffers from an underlying condition. Severe tinnitus can affect someone’s daily life, they cannot work and there are several cases of people developing depression or anxiety due to the constant ringing in their ears. Contacting your professional healthcare provider and getting the right diagnosis is vital because it can carry serious complications for your physical and mental health.
Causes of Tinnitus
In many cases, an exact cause for tinnitus is never found, but researchers did find multiple reasons that can cause or worsen this problem. Often it is a case of age-related hearing loss or being regularly exposed to loud sounds. Tiny hair cells in your ear normally move when your ear receives sound (waves). If these hairs are damaged or broken – what can happen due to aging or being exposed to loud sounds, they can leak electrical impulses to the brain, which causes tinnitus. Other common causes of tinnitus are:
- Ear infection or blockage in the ear canal.
- Head or neck trauma
- Medication, like NSAIDs or certain antibiotics
Tinnitus can also be caused by medical conditions or infections that affect the nerves in the ear and the hearing center of the brain. It is less common but the causes include:
- Meniere’s disease
- Eustachian tube dysfunction
- Otosclerosis in ear bones
- Muscle spasms in the inner ear
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
- Acoustic neuroma or other head/neck tumors
- Blood vessel disorders, like high blood pressure or atherosclerosis
- Chronic conditions, like diabetes, migraine, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
Continue reading on the next page and discover, among others, what kind of treatment options there are for this health problem and when you’re at risk.