“Why am I hearing a ringing noise in my ears?” “How can I make that sound go away?”
If you find yourself saying things like this, you may have tinnitus, a common hearing issue that causes you to hear noises or perceive a sound that other people can’t hear. You’re not alone. Tinnitus is a disorder that affects millions of individuals.
Ringing, pulsing, whistling, or buzzing are the sounds that most people describe.
Depending on the intensity, 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 significant happening in your body.
Here are 6 tinnitus symptoms you need to take seriously.
1. The Ringing in Your Ears is Affecting The Quality of Your Life
26% of people who have tinnitus experience symptoms constantly, according to some studies.
This irritating, ever-present noise can lead to all kinds of relationship issues, insomnia, anxiety, and even depression.
It can be a struggle between the tinnitus noise and something as basic as trying to hear your friend give you a recipe over the phone. The constant ringing has stressed you out to the point where you snap at a member of the family who simply asks you a question.
Constant ringing can cause a vicious cycle. As your stress level goes up, the ringing gets louder. And you get more stressed the louder the noise is and on and on.
If your tinnitus is leading to these kinds of life challenges, you shouldn’t ignore it. It’s there, and your life is being affected. There are treatment choices that can significantly reduce or eliminate the noise in your ears.
2. The Noise in Your Ears Begins After You Change Medications
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 significant that you might want to ask about alternate options. If your tinnitus began or got significantly worse after you started a new drug, look at that list of side effects and talk to your doctor.
Tinnitus might be caused by some common medications. Here are a few examples:
- Loop Diuretics
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
- Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
3. It Comes With Blurred Vision, Headache, or Seizures
This may be a sign that high blood pressure is causing your tinnitus. The blood circulation in your inner ear is restricted when you have hypertension. High blood pressure that goes unmanaged is also dangerous for your overall health. As time passes, it may cause or worsen age-related hearing loss.
4. You Only Hear it After You Leave a Concert, Gym, or Work
If you only hear the tinnitus when you leave a noisy place such as a concert, aerobics class, factory, or bar, then the place you were just in had unsafe levels of noise. If you ignore this occasional tinnitus and don’t begin to protect your ears, it will most likely become constant over time. And hearing loss will probably accompany it.
If you are going to be exposed to loud noise, use the following to protect your hearing:
- Giving your ears a periodic break by stepping outside or into the restroom, if possible, at least once every hour
- Using earplugs
- Standing a bit further away from loud speakers
If you work in a loud environment, follow work rules regarding earplugs and earmuffs. 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 disregard facial paralysis regardless of whether you have ringing in your ears. But when you have paralysis, nausea, headaches, and you also have tinnitus, it’s possible that you might have an acoustic neuroma (a slow growing benign brain tumor).
6. Fluctuating Hearing Loss is Accompanying Tinnitus
Are you experiencing hearing loss that comes and goes? Do you feel dizzy off and on? If these symptoms are taking place along with tinnitus, you may need to get tested for Menier’s disease. This leads to a fluid imbalance in your ears. Your risk of falling caused by lack of balance will get worse if this condition is left untreated.
Tinnitus is often a sign of hearing loss. So you should have your hearing tested if you’re experiencing it. Get in touch with us to make an appointment for a hearing test.