Understanding Tinnitus – Common symptoms, causes, types and treatment

what is tinnitus most people think tinnitus is a ringing in your ears in fact it can be a number of different sounds but with tinnitus the sounds you hear have no external source this can be quite distracting as there's no way to remove yourself from the source of the sound tinnitus can be short-term or long-term and is caused by a wide number of factors ranging from exposure to loud sounds to ear wax or even stress what does tinnitus sound like while most people describe tinnitus as a ringing sound in their ear there is a wide range of sounds people can experience these include buzzing whistling humming hissing and grinding the noise can be constant or occasional quiet or loud how do i know if i have tinnitus if you can hear one of the common tinnitus sounds like ringing but there is no external source then it's likely you are experiencing tinnitus tinnitus is very common and can affect people of all age groups including children in fact about 30 percent of us will experience tinnitus at some point in our lives for most people tinnitus is a temporary thing but one in eight adults lives with persistent tinnitus of these about 10 percent feel it has a significant impact on their quality of life what causes tinnitus it's hard to say what causes tinnitus because tinnitus isn't a disease or an illness in itself it's actually a symptom of a number of underlying conditions these conditions can be physical or mental and aren't even necessarily related to the ear itself exposure to loud noise is the most well known cause of tinnitus but tinnitus can also be caused by a buildup of earwax a perforated eardrum a side effect to prescription medication conditions like diabetes high blood pressure or even depression and anxiety does tinnitus lead to hearing loss although severe tinnitus can interfere with your hearing the condition itself does not cause hearing loss tinnitus is more common in people who have hearing loss or other ear problems but it can also be found in people with normal hearing the delicate hair cells in the inner ear may reduce in number due to wear and tear as people age this gradual change can cause hearing loss which can make tinnitus more noticeable what are the different kinds of tinnitus there are three main kinds of tinnitus subjective objective and pulsatile subjective tinnitus is the most common it relates to a sound only the sufferer can hear this can be caused by problems in your ear and the way your hearing nerve communicates with the brain objective tinnitus can be heard by others in very close proximity it's caused by something that produces sound like a narrowing of blood vessels in the ear or muscle contractions pulsatile tinnitus is where people hear tinnitus noises that beat in time with their pulse this is usually linked to disturbances in the blood flow around the head or neck cantinitus be treated if tinnitus is a side effect of a medical condition like an ear infection or even a buildup of wax then treating that condition can in most cases get rid of the tinnitus or alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus if your tinnitus is not caused by a medical condition there are options that can help you cope with the effects of it a qualified gp or audiologist will be able to give you advice you

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