What is tinnitus and what are its causes?

In Blog by Upstate Hearing

Tinnitus is a common health condition. Over 45 million Americans struggle with tinnitus. Tinnitus is often referred to as ringing in the ears, but can often be experienced as a buzzing, hissing, chirping, static, or roaring sound in the ears. Some people even experience phantom musical tones. Symptoms range from a mild annoyance to a debilitating disability. This can cause distress, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, irritability, poor concentration, and sometimes even pain.

Specific etiologies can often be hard to determine but some common causes of tinnitus include age-related and noise-induced hearing loss, obstructions in the middle ear, head and neck trauma, TMJ, sinus pressure, TBI, ototoxic medications, and vascular disease. It is reported that males experience tinnitus more often than females. Those with repeated or excessive occupational or recreational noise exposure are at a higher risk for developing this condition. In some instances reducing caffeine, sodium, alcohol, or tobacco intake has reduced tinnitus. Increasing exercise or other stress-reducing activities has also been known to reduce symptoms. In some cases the use of hearing aids, tinnitus retraining therapy, or progressive tinnitus management programs have helped reduce the effects.

To learn more, schedule an appointment with a hearing care expert at Upstate Hearing by calling (530) 243-7307.