Constant Ringing in the Ears
The Causes of Tinnitus
Most of us have heard of tinnitus – also known simply as a ringing in the ear – and with 20% of the world population ( e.g. over 50 million US citizens, 130 million people in China )suffering from this condition, it’s a lot more common than you might think. Tinnitus is the name of a ringing, whistling, chirping, or even white noise in the ear. It can be constant or intermittent and can be either completely temporary or a for life condition.
• Where hearing loss and tinnitus are quite often linked, one does not always assure the presence of the other. If loss of hearing occurs, it’s more likely due to the fact that the tinnitus is loud enough to drown out noise, causing a semi-deaf feeling. But there are rare cases where the side effect has caused the person to have a hypersensitive hearing, known as hyperacusis, where they might need to take measures to muffle any outside noise.
• Tinnitus can be caused by an infection or blockage in the ear canal, and once that has been cured or removed, the tinnitus will quite often go away or fade over time. Sometimes the ringing in the ears remains. Tinnitus can occur due to prolonged exposure to loud noises, or even just a sudden blast of noise. A lot of soldiers develop tinnitus through battle.
• Tinnitus can just be an annoyance to the luckier sufferers, and most of the time it can fade into the background. Most of the time tinnitus is only noticed when the background noise is low, or at nighttime. But for some people that constant ringing in the ears interrupts their lives, prevents them from concentrating and sleeping.
• Tinnitus can even cause issues with work and in relationships. Imagine having a constant noise in the ear that only you can hear that is preventing you from concentrating on your work, unable to hear what people are saying to you, not being able to sleep and so are constantly exhausted. How could that not affect your relationships?
• There are things that can be done to help tinnitus sufferers, but, unfortunately, there is yet to be a cure. Hearing aids and tinnitus isn’t something that you would usually link, seeing as hearing loss doesn’t always mean tinnitus and vice versa. But a hearing aid can help to muffle the constant sound within the ear while amplifying the sounds that you want to be hearing.
• Tinnitus can be worsened by drinking alcohol, smoking, drinking caffeinated drinks, and even eating certain foods. There are even different medications that cause tinnitus. And, yet to be understood by scientists, exhaustion and fatigue can increase the ringing. Having a cold can make you more aware of the ringing, and so can just thinking about it.
You never notice that you can see the tip of your nose constantly until you mention it, right? And glasses wearers don’t notice the rims around their sight until it’s mentioned. It’s actually the same principle as with that constant noise in the ear.
Take good care of yourself,