Causes of Tinnitus
Tinnitus, that annoying ringing, buzzing, or whistling noise you sometimes hear, isn’t caused by any external sound. Tinnitus is all in your head, and its only present when everything around you is quiet. You might think you’re going crazy, but there is a real cause behind this phantom sound.
There are two kinds of tinnitus, subjective and objective. Subjective tinnitus is tinnitus that only you can hear. Objective tinnitus is slightly different, and your hearing health professional can hear it when performing a hearing evaluation.
What Causes Tinnitus?
No one knows exactly what causes tinnitus, and there are a number of factors that can lead to this ringing noise. During the hearing evaluation, we’ll ask you some questions about your health history to discover the cause of your tinnitus, and find the best treatment option.
Causes of tinnitus include:
- Hearing loss
- Exposure to extremely loud noises
- Earwax buildup
- Certain medications like aspirin
- Head or neck injury
- Illness or infection
- Tumor growth
- Stress and anxiety
Tinnitus can’t be cured, and treating tinnitus is all about managing symptoms, and ensuring you don’t suffer any of the negative effects of tinnitus. Tinnitus isn’t a dangerous condition, but it can point to another condition like hearing loss, or excessive stress and anxiety. It’s important to treat tinnitus as soon as possible, because untreated tinnitus can lead to insomnia, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, struggling with memory loss, and even depression or other mental health concerns.
The best treatment option for tinnitus is a sound therapy program that works to mask the tinnitus sounds, and fade these irritating noises into the background. You can try a noise generator, or even a fan in the room to mask tinnitus and ease your symptoms. Many hearing aids have built-in tinnitus therapy programs, and these will play white noise, pink noise, nature sounds, or even music to mask your tinnitus and bring your relief. They’re calibrated to match your exact tinnitus to bring you the most effective relief.
Other treatment options to reduce tinnitus include:
- Magnesium and zinc supplements
- Vitamin B supplements
- Acupuncture treatments