“What’s that ringing in my ears?” “Why won’t that noise stop?”
If you find yourself saying things like this, you could be dealing with tinnitus, a common hearing issue that causes you to hear noises or experience a sound that others don’t hear. You’re not by yourself. Tinnitus is a disorder that impacts millions of people.
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 tinnitus shouldn’t always be neglected. Tinnitus symptoms can often be a sign of something more significant going on 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 studies reveal that 26% of people with tinnitus cope with that ringing on a nearly constant basis.
This frustrating, ever-present noise can result in all kinds of relationship troubles, anxiety, insomnia, and even depression.
It can be a struggle between the tinnitus sound and something as simple as trying to hear your friend tell you a recipe over the phone. The constant ringing has stressed you out to the point where you snap at a member of the family who simply asks you a question.
Constant ringing can become a vicious cycle. As your stress level rises, the ringing gets louder. And you get more anxious the louder the noise is and on and on.
If tinnitus is leading to these kinds of life challenges, it’s time to deal with it. It’s real, and it impacts your quality of life. The noise can be reduced or eliminated with obtainable treatment choices.
2. The Noise in Your Ears Starts After You Change Medications
Doctors may try several different medications to treat the same condition whether you have chronic pain or cancer. Some of these will have side effects so severe that you may want to ask about alternatives. If your tinnitus started or got significantly worse after you started a new drug, check that list of side effects and speak with your doctor.
Tinnitus might be caused by some common medications. These include some kinds of:
- Loop Diuretics
- Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
- Opioids (Pain Killers)
3. It Comes With Headache, Blurred Vision, or Seizures
This may be a sign that high blood pressure is triggering your tinnitus. The blood flow in your inner ear is compromised when you suffer from 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 Always Seem to be Leaving Work, The Gym, or a Concert When You Hear it
If you leave a noisy place like a bar, concert, factory, or fitness class, and you begin to hear tinnitus noises, you were probably exposed to unsafe levels of noise and that’s most likely the cause of these noises. It becomes increasingly likely that these noises will become permanent the more frequently you disregard them and skip using ear protection. And it’s commonly accompanied by hearing loss.
If you enjoy a noisy night out, take precautions like:
- Wearing earplugs
- Giving your ears a periodic break by stepping into the restroom or outside, if possible, at least once every hour
- Not standing too close to the speakers
If you work in a noisy place, adhere to work rules pertaining to earplugs and earmuffs. Your safety gear will only effectively protect you if you use it correctly.
5. You Also Have Facial Paralysis
We hope you wouldn’t ignore facial paralysis irrespective of whether you have ringing in your ears. But when the tinnitus symptoms are accompanied by headaches, paralysis, and nausea, this might be a sign of a slow-growing benign brain tumor called an acoustic neuroma.
6. Fluctuating Hearing Loss is Accompanying Tinnitus
Do you experience hearing loss that seems to worsen, then get better, then worse again? Are you sometimes dizzy? When accompanied by tinnitus, this means you need to be tested for Meniere’s disease. This causes a fluid imbalance in your ears. If left untreated, it often gets worse and might increase your risks of significant falls due to lack of balance.
Tinnitus is often a sign of hearing loss. So if you are experiencing it, you should get your hearing examined more frequently. Get in touch with us to make an appointment for a hearing test.