What’s That Sound? Tinnitus

March 4, 2016 01:00 PM

If you frequently hear buzzing, ringing, or crackling sounds that are not coming from the kids’ electronic games, you may be suffering from an inner ear condition known as tinnitus. About 20% of Americans suffer from ringing in the ears at some point in their lives. Tinnitus can occur at almost any age, but often becomes noticeable after age 60.

Tinnitus has many causes including continual exposure to loud noise (often due to workplace conditions), smoking, temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ), head or neck injuries, or even certain medications. Tinnitus can also be a symptom of high blood pressure or atherosclerosis. The condition can appear suddenly or build up over time.

The sounds are generated when the tiny hairs in the inner ear become bent or broken. Many people become accustomed to the sounds and can learn to ignore them. However, some people experience quality of life issues, loss of sleep, or depression from the constant bombardment of unwanted sounds. Tinnitus should be evaluated by an otolaryngologist to determine the cause. Treatments and medications are available to help alleviate the problem.

To find one of our offices near you, call: 855.385.HEAL (4325).

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