What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus (tin-NY-tus) is the perception of ringing, hissing or roaring in your ears. At a minimum, the ringing in your ears is annoying and can drown out everyday sounds. When it persists, tinnitus can make it difficult to concentrate or sleep soundly and may lead to fatigue, irritability, and stress.

If tinnitus is disrupting your life, call us and get your hearing tested right away. Tinnitus is often caused by hearing loss, and treatment with hearing or masking devices can be very effective. We will evaluate your hearing and your medical history and discuss your treatment options.

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Hearing loss is a common cause of tinnitus.

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What Causes Tinnitus?

Roughly 25 million Americans have experienced tinnitus, a symptom associated with many forms of hearing or other health problems. In some cases, allergies or other medical conditions can cause tinnitus. More often, tinnitus is a symptom of hearing loss. The most common causes of tinnitus are:

Age-related Hearing Loss: Most people with tinnitus also have some kind of hearing loss.

Ear Wax: When too much ear wax builds up in your ear canal, it may harden. This can cause hearing loss and tinnitus. Don’t try to remove ear wax build up yourself; you are likely to push the ear wax in further. We can remove it safely.

Exposure to Loud Noise: Exposure to loud noise can cause permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. Continued exposure can make the tinnitus and hearing loss worse.

Other potential causes: Some medications, including aspirin, can cause tinnitus. It can also be a symptom of allergies or sinus blockages. Underlying medical conditions such as tumors, or problems in the heart and blood vessels, jaw and neck can cause tinnitus. If our consultation and evaluation suggests one of these medical issues, we will refer you to a physician to complete the diagnosis.

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Don’t Make Your Tinnitus Worse

Avoid anything that can increase the ringing in your ears, such as smoking, alcohol and loud noise. If you work in construction, at an airport, or if you’re regularly exposed to loud noise at home or at work, wear ear plugs or special earmuffs to protect your hearing.

If it’s hard for you to hear over your tinnitus, face your friends and family when they talk. Seeing their expressions may help you understand them better. Ask people to speak louder but not shout. Most importantly, call us. Let’s get your hearing tested and talk about your treatment options.

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