What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a perception of ringing or noise in your ears. A very common ear issue, according to the American Tinnitus Association, it impacts approximately 15% up to 20% of people. It’s vital to understand though that tinnitus is not a condition but a symptom of another condition. Likewise, while it could get worse as you age, for lots of people, it can be managed with proper treatment.
Here at Central Alabama ENT Associates in Montgomery, AL, our ENT doctors, Dr. Wallace C. Vaughan, Jr., and Dr. C. Elliott Morgan can diagnose tinnitus and help you treat or manage it.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus comes in two types; the first one is subjective tinnitus, the most common kind and one that only you can hear. The second is objective tinnitus, which is the kind that your ENT doctor can hear during an examination. Various health issues could worsen or cause tinnitus, but one of the most common tinnitus causes is damage to the inner ear hair cells.
Delicate, tiny hairs in the inner ear move with the sound waves’ pressure. This stimulates the cells to discharge electrical signals via the auditory nerve in the ear to the brain. In turn, the brain will interpret the signals as sound, so if the inner ear hairs are broken or bent, they could leak random signals to the brain, resulting in tinnitus.
Other tinnitus causes include other problems with the ear, injuries, chronic health problems, or conditions affecting the ear’s nerves or the brain’s hearing center. In most people, however, tinnitus is typically a result of hearing loss related to aging, earwax obstruction, regular and excess exposure to loud sounds, and changes in the ear bone. Likewise, various medications might worsen or cause tinnitus, and in rare instances, by problems with the blood vessels.
What are The Symptoms of Tinnitus?
The most common tinnitus symptoms include these phantom sounds in the ear:
These phantom sounds might differ in pitch and you might hear them in both or just one ear. Further, it might come and go or be present at all times.
When to Visit Your ENT Doctor
Go to your ENT doctor in Montgomery, AL, if:
- Tinnitus suddenly develops following a cold or other upper respiratory infection, and it doesn’t get better in a week.
- You experience tinnitus and dizziness or hearing loss.
- Tinnitus that develops without any apparent cause
For Advice or Concerns About Tinnitus, Reach Out to Us
Book your consultation with your ENT doctor here at Central Alabama ENT Associates in Montgomery, AL, Dr. Wallace C. Vaughan, Jr. and Dr. C. Elliott Morgan by calling (334) 277-0484.