Tinnitus Treatments in Palm Harbor, FL
Have you ever experienced prolonged ringing, buzzing or hissing in your ear? Approximately 50 million Americans have experienced a mild to severe form of tinnitus. While many people think tinnitus is an actual condition, it’s actually a symptom of an underlying condition.
Symptoms of Tinnitus
Tinnitus isn't necessarily just a high pitched ringing in your year. It can also materialize as a low roar, clicking, hissing or buzzing. Ringing just happens to be the more common symptom. The phantom sound can come and go randomly, but also can be very loud and prolonged, disrupting your daily activities.
Types of Tinnitus
Subjective Tinnitus - This is the most common type of tinnitus, in which you can hear a sound yourself. This is usually caused by the inner, middle or outer ear and the electrical signals that get sent through your auditory nerve to your brain.
Objective Tinnitus - This tinnitus an only be heard by your doctor during examination. This is a deeper level of tinnitus that's caused by a blood vessel problem in your ear, or a bone/muscle issue with your middle ear. Objective tinnitus is much less common.
Causes of Tinnitus
Tinnitus is most commonly caused by tiny hairs in your inner ear being moved due to sound waves. This causes the cells in your ear to release an electrical signal from your auditory nerve to your brain. Your brain then interprets this signal as sound. This can also happen as hairs in your ear get bent or broken, releasing electrical signals to your brain. Other causes of tinnitus include:
- Earwax Buildup - The main function of ear wax is to protect the ear canal from dirt and bacteria. However, when too much builds up, it can cause hearing loss or irritation, both of which lead to tinnitus.
- Age-related hearing loss - Hearing loss can cause tinnitus. Tinnitus that is caused by age-related hearing loss is known as presbycusis. It's important to note that tinnitus and hearing loss are not always related.
- TMJ disorders - Excess tension in your temporomandibular joint can lead to tinnitus and other hearing conditions.
- Exposure to loud noises - Short-term exposure to loud noises, such as concerts or clubs, can lead to temporary tinnitus. Frequent exposure to chainsaws, firearms and loud music can cause permanent damage.
- Head, neck and brain injuries - Trauma to the head, neck and brain can cause issues with the hearing nerves. When tinnitus is associated with head, neck and brain trauma, it usually only affects only one ear.
- Medications - Various medications, such as antibiotics, cancer medications, diuretics, antidepressants and quinine medications can worse or even cause tinnitus.
To properly treat tinnitus, a physician will have to diagnose the condition that’s causing the disorder. Common treatments for tinnitus include ear wax removal, changing medications, treating blood vessel conditions and noise suppression techniques, depending on the underlying condition causing tinnitus.
Contact Gulfcoast Ear, Nose & Throat at (727) 942-4005 for information on tinnitus.