Tinnitus is a condition that causes ringing in the ears. It can happen in one or both ears and can also cause noises that can be described as buzzing, roaring, or hissing. It can be present at all times, or it can come and go. For some people, it can interfere with the ability to concentrate or hear properly.
Tinnitus can be in one of two types. Subjective occurs when the patient is the only one that can hear the sound. It is the more common of the two types. The objective type can also be heard by the doctor when a stethoscope is placed against the ear. The occurrence is rare, when compared with subjective tinnitus, and can be caused by things like blood vessel problems, muscle contractions or bone conditions in the middle ear.
In many cases, the cause of the tinnitus may not be known. At other times, there may be some underlying medical condition that causes the condition as one of the symptoms. Your best bet is to schedule an appointment with an ENT physician for an evaluation. You should especially call for an appointment if your tinnitus occurs without an apparent cause or comes on suddenly. Tinnitus that is accompanied by dizziness or hearing loss is another indication that you should seek medical help right away. If you develop a cold or upper respiratory infection and tinnitus develops with it, you should make an appointment if the ringing sensation persists for more than a few days.
Exposure to too much loud noise is a common cause of the condition. There are times when the ringing will only last a few days, such as after you have attended an automobile race or loud concert. At other times, it may be long-lasting. When this is the case, it can be an indication of hearing loss. There are tiny nerve fibers in the ear that pick up the sound in order to transmit the signals to the brain. When these tiny nerves become damaged, they can send signals that cause the ringing sensation.
Sometimes, the buildup of earwax inside the canal can irritate the eardrum and cause tinnitus. Our ENT can easily check to see if this is the case and clean out the wax, if necessary. You should be careful not to stick things into your ear yourself, because doing so could cause damage.
If you suspect are experiencing tinnitus, you should make an appointment at Regional ENT Associates, located in Gallatin and Lebanon. It may be that it is being caused by a controllable factor, in which case, you may be able to eliminate the ringing sensations. Contact us today to book your consultation!