“What’s that ringing in my ears?” “Make that noise stop!”
You may be suffering from tinnitus, a common hearing affliction that manifests sounds in your ears that no one else can hear, if you find yourself making these types of statements. You’re not alone. Millions of people have this condition.
Most describe it as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a dial tone, pulsing noise, buzzing, or whistling.
Depending on the severity, ringing in the ears may seem harmless. But tinnitus shouldn’t always be ignored. Tinnitus symptoms can frequently be a sign of something more serious 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
Some research indicates that 26% of people with tinnitus cope with that ringing on an almost constant basis.
Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and relationship problems are all possible repercussions of this ever present ringing.
Something as easy as listening to your daughter share a recipe on the phone becomes a struggle between her voice and the noise that overshadows it. You might snap at your grandchild, who simply asks a question because the ringing stresses you out.
A vicious cycle can be the result of this continuous ringing. As your stress level rises, the ringing gets louder. And you get more anxious the louder the noise is and on and on.
If your tinnitus is leading to these types of life struggles, you shouldn’t neglect it. It’s there, and your life is being affected. The noise can be decreased or eliminated with obtainable treatment choices.
2. The Noise in Your Ears Begins After You Switch Medications
Doctors may try numerous different medications to manage the same condition whether you have cancer or chronic pain. Some of these will have side effects so significant that you might want to ask about alternate options. Contact your doctor and find out what the side effects are if you began experiencing tinnitus symptoms after starting a new medication.
Tinnitus might be caused by some common medications. These include some kinds of:
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
- Loop Diuretics
- Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
3. It’s Accompanied by Headache, Blurred Vision, or Seizures
This might 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 general health. Over time, it could cause or worsen age-related hearing loss.
4. You Only Hear it When Leaving a Concert, Gym, or Work
If you only hear the tinnitus when you leave a loud setting like a concert, aerobics class, factory, or bar, then the place you just left had noise levels above safe levels. It becomes increasingly likely that these noises will become permanent the more frequently you ignore them and skip using ear protection. And hearing loss will usually accompany it.
If you enjoy a noisy night out, take precautions like:
- Giving your ears a periodic break by stepping into the restroom or outside, if possible, at least once every hour
- Wearing earplugs
- Not standing too close to the speakers
If you work in a loud place, follow work rules regarding earmuffs and earplugs. Your safety gear will only effectively protect you if you use it correctly.
5. You Also Have Facial Paralysis
Whether you have ringing in your ears or not, you should never dismiss facial paralysis. 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
Do you experience hearing loss that seems to get worse, then get better, then worse again? Do you feel dizzy off and on? When accompanied by tinnitus, this suggests you need to be screened for Meniere’s disease. This produces a fluid imbalance in your ears. If left without treatment, it frequently gets worse and may increase your risks of serious falls due to lack of balance.
Tinnitus is often a sign of hearing loss. So you should get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing it. Call us to set up an appointment.