Ever think that there is noise or ringing in your ears? This is commonly known as Tinnitus. It is a common problem affecting nearly 20% of people.
Tinnitus, however, isn't a condition itself — it's a symptom of what could be an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.
Tinnitus involves the sensation of hearing sound when no external sound is present. Tinnitus symptoms may include these types of "noises" in your ears:
A common cause of tinnitus is inner ear hair cell damage caused by bent or broken tiny, delicate hairs in your inner ear. These hairs move in relation to the pressure of sound waves and release an electrical signal from your ear to your brain.
Here are some possible causes for Tinnitus:
Age-related hearing loss
Exposure to loud noise
Ear bone changes
Anyone can experience tinnitus, but exposure to loud noises, age, smoking, and cardiovascular problems may increase your risk. Also, tinnitus is more prominent in men.
In many cases, tinnitus is the result of something that can't be prevented. However, some precautions can help prevent certain kinds of tinnitus.
Use hearing protection. Over time, exposure to loud sounds can damage the nerves in the ears, causing hearing loss and tinnitus. If you use chain saws, are a musician, work in an industry that uses loud machinery always wear over-the-ear hearing protection.
Turn down the volume. Long-term exposure to amplified music with no ear protection or listening to music at very high volume through headphones can cause hearing loss and tinnitus.
Take care of your cardiovascular health. Regular exercise, eating right and taking other steps to keep your blood vessels healthy can help prevent tinnitus linked to blood vessel disorders.
If you suffer from tinnitus, speak to your doctor to assess possible causes for the condition. Tests may include hearing tests or depending on possible causes, a CT or MRI scan. Once the underlying cause of the tinnitus is determined, your doctor may review some treatment options. This could include earwax removal, receiving hearing aides, or changing medications that may impact the condition.
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