Healthy hearing is something many of us take for granted…that is until that health is threatened. It’s estimated up to 20% of the Australian population suffer from tinnitus. Whilst one of the most common tinnitus causes is poor ear health, tinnitus is itself a problem that can affect more than just our hearing. In fact, it’s been linked to various other health issues, including insomnia, anxiety and depression. Whilst many people are told they simply have to live with their tinnitus, this isn’t strictly true. With the help of your local Perth audiologists, you can find ways to manage your condition and establish a happier, healthier quality of life.
Tinnitus, meaning “to tinkle or ring like a bell”, can be experienced differently from person to person. Although tinnitus is often considered to be ringing in the ears, sufferers have also described it as a whistling, buzzing or hissing sound that occurs intermittently or constantly in one or both ears. It’s important to know tinnitus is not a disease, but a symptom that could indicate further problems with your hearing or health. The two main types of tinnitus are:
- Subjective tinnitus – By far the most common type, this is when only the affected individual can hear the symptoms.
- Objective tinnitus – This is a rare form of tinnitus whereby symptoms can be heard by an external observer. This usually results from vascular or muscular disorders.
Common tinnitus causes
Tinnitus doesn’t have one single, underlying cause. In fact, it’s a symptom that can indicate a number of different hearing and health problems. This is why it’s extremely important to see an audiologist if you’ve experienced any tinnitus symptoms. Some of the most common tinnitus causes include:
- Exposure to loud noises: Everyone has probably experienced ringing in their ear after a concert or crowded event. However, constant exposure to loud noises can lead to more prolonged tinnitus and is often linked to hearing loss.
- Damage to the inner ear: Tinnitus can result from the damage of the cochlea in the inner ear. This generally degenerates as we age, which is why people commonly experience tinnitus later in life. However, it can also be triggered by injury and ear infections.
- Medications: Tinnitus is a potential side effect of many prescription medications, including aspirin and some antibiotics. These symptoms are generally short-lived but can be more permanent with certain antibiotics and stronger medicines.
- Buildup of earwax: Tinnitus can sometimes be triggered by a build-up of compacted earwax against the eardrum.
- Severe health problems: In extreme cases, tinnitus could indicate a more severe health problem such as the presence of a tumour. This is extremely rare, but it’s important to get your hearing checked out by an experienced audiologist if you notice any symptoms.
Everyone experiences tinnitus differently, meaning there is no one-stop solution or cure. However, an experienced audiologist will be able to assess your symptoms to determine potential causes and propose a treatment to help you manage it accordingly. At The Art of Hearing, we know the impact tinnitus can have on your quality of life and overall hearing health. If you’ve been experiencing intermittent or constant ringing in your ears, book a consultation with our Perth-based audiologists. As well as helping you get to the root of the problem, our hearing specialists will be able to provide you with the advice and solutions you need to manage your symptoms effectively.
Visit The Art of Hearing website or call us on (08) 93908811 to book your obligation-free consultation today at one of our Perth hearing clinics.