“What’s that annoying sound in my ears?” “Make that noise stop!”
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 others can’t hear. You’re not by yourself. Millions of people have this disorder.
Most describe it as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a dial tone, pulsing noise, whistling, or buzzing.
Ringing in the ears might seem harmless, depending on its severity. But there are absolutely times when you shouldn’t ignore it. Something more serious may be the underlying cause of these sounds.
Here are 6 tinnitus symptoms you need to take seriously.
1. The Ringing in Your Ears is Affecting The Quality of Your Life
Some research suggests that 26% of tinnitus sufferers experience that ringing on a nearly constant basis.
This irritating, ever-present noise can result in all kinds of relationship troubles, anxiety, insomnia, and even depression.
It can be a battle between the tinnitus sound and something as basic as trying to hear your friend give you a recipe over the phone. The nonstop ringing has stressed you out to the point where you snap at a member of the family who asks you a question.
A vicious cycle can be the result of this constant ringing. As your stress level rises, the ringing gets louder. And you get more stressed the louder the noise is and on and on.
If tinnitus is contributing to these kinds of life challenges, it’s time to deal with it. It’s real, and it impacts your quality of life. There are treatment options that can considerably reduce or get rid of the noise in your ears.
2. The Noise in Your Ears Begins After You Switch Medications
Whether you have chronic back pain or cancer, doctors may try numerous different medications to treat the same ailment. You might ask for a different option if you start to experience severe side effects. If your tinnitus started or got significantly worse after you started a new medication, look at that list of side effects and talk to your doctor.
Some common medications might cause tinnitus. These include some kinds of:
- 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.
- Loop Diuretics
3. Blurred Vision, Seizures, And Headache Come With Tinnitus Noises
This may be a sign that high blood pressure is triggering your tinnitus. When you have hypertension, the blood circulation to your inner ear is restricted. Unregulated high blood pressure is also dangerous for your total health. Age related hearing loss, over time, will worsen because of this.
4. You Only Hear it When Leaving a Concert, Gym, or Work
If you only hear the tinnitus after you leave a noisy place such as a factory, concert, aerobics class, or bar, then the place you were just in had noise levels above safe levels. If you neglect this occasional tinnitus and don’t start to protect your ears, it will likely become constant over time. And hearing loss will usually accompany it.
If you love a noisy night out, take precautions such as:
- Giving your ears a periodic break by going into the restroom or outside, if possible, at least once an hour
- Not standing too close to the speakers
- Wearing earplugs
If you work in a noisy place, 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
Whether you have ringing in your ears or not, you should never ignore facial paralysis. But when you have nausea, paralysis, 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
Do you have hearing loss that seems to worsen, then get better, then worse again? Do you feel dizzy off and on? When accompanied by tinnitus, this suggests you need to be evaluated for Meniere’s disease. This leads to a fluid imbalance in your ears. If left untreated, it often gets worse and may increase your risks of serious falls caused by lack of balance.
Tinnitus is often a sign of hearing loss. So you should get your hearing tested if you’re experiencing it. Contact us to make an appointment.