Tinnitus, more commonly known as a “ringing of the ears” is the perception of sound within the human ear in the absence of corresponding external sound. The sounds may vary from just a ringing, as it sounds different depending on the person. Tinnitus may also appear as a buzzing, whistling, popping, cracking, or in some rare cases, music.
Tinnitus is not a disease, but a condition that can result from a wide range of underlying causes:
- Abnormally loud sounds in the ear canal for even the briefest period
- Ear infections
- Ear wax build-up
- Frequent usage of in-ear headphones, whose sound enters directly into the ear canal without any opportunity to be deflected or absorbed elsewhere, are a common cause of tinnitus when volume is set beyond moderate levels.
- Presence of foreign objects in the ear
- Nasal allergies that prevent (or induce) fluid drain
- Withdrawal from a benzodiazepine addiction
Tinnitus can also be caused by natural hearing impairment (as is often seen in aging), as a side effect of some medications, and as a side effect of genetic (congenital) hearing loss. However, the most common cause is noise-induced hearing loss.
What are the Effects of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus has been related to increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. It may also lead to memory problems, the ability to concentrate, and fatigue. In more severe cases, tinnitus has been known to affect a person’s emotional well-being, interfering with social interaction and employment.
Is Tinnitus Permanent?
Tinnitus can be temporary or permanent. After exposure to loud noise for continued periods of time, you will often experience temporary tinnitus. People with longer lasting tinnitus can use a range of tinnitus management strategies mentioned above to reduce the impact of tinnitus on their life.
How Long Will It Take to Treat My Tinnitus?
Each person’s tinnitus condition is unique, so it is not possible yet to say how long would you need to be in a tinnitus management program. However, there is considerable evidence to show that tinnitus management programs can result in a drastic reduction in tinnitus distress. The sooner you start a tinnitus management program, the sooner you can start reducing the impact of tinnitus on your life. To get started, contact us at (021) 2994-1688.
Is There Anything I Can Do to Stop My Tinnitus From Getting Worse?
To prevent your tinnitus from getting worse, you should always use hearing protection when you know you will be exposed to loud noise. As soon as you leave the loud environment, it is vital to remove the hearing protection as overuse of hearing protection can lead to an increase in your perception of tinnitus.
Engaging in activities to reduce your overall level of stress can also help to reduce the impact of tinnitus. While stress does not directly cause tinnitus, it can increase the onset of your tinnitus.