4 Conditions Associated with Tinnitus
Tinnitus, a problem characterized by hearing internal sounds such as whistles and clicking despite no external sound source, is a health complaint that affects millions of people every single day. Whether experienced continually or intermittently, in one ear or both, tinnitus can cause major discomfort to your daily life.
One of the first things you should know about tinnitus, is that is actually caused by an underlying health condition. Here are four of the most common conditions that are associated with tinnitus.
Hearing loss is arguably the number one reason for tinnitus symptoms becoming noticeable. This is because hearing loss is often caused by damage to the fine hair cells inside the cochlea. When this happens, the ears fail to pick up the full range of external sounds. In turn, the brain will attempt to fill in the gaps, which is why the internal sounds surface.
This is one of the chief reasons that hearing aids are deemed one of the best ways to manage tinnitus. Restoring the external sounds will mask some of the internal clicks and buzzes, which can make symptoms far less noticeable.
The auditory system is very closely linked to the vestibular system. As such, there should be no surprise to learn that vestibular conditions related to balance and spatial orientation can have a telling impact on the presence of tinnitus. Meniere’s disease is perhaps the issue most commonly associated with tinnitus, but it’s not the only issue.
Vertigo, labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis are all issues that can lead to tinnitus symptoms. Meanwhile, perforated eardrums and other physical damage that can impact the individual’s sense of balance can be problematic too.
Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can be linked to tinnitus too. Tinnitus can be particularly noticeable in moments of being alone, which is why insomniacs often experience it too. When psychiatric conditions discourage the individual from entering social scenarios, tinnitus symptoms won’t be masked. The stress alone can cause the brain to interpret sounds differently.
Worse still, this is a vicious cycle because the negative impacts of tinnitus can make depression and anxiety even worse, especially when coupled with poor sleep. Treating both the tinnitus itself and the underlying psychiatric conditions will be crucial for ongoing management.
Infections, wax and more
Tinnitus isn’t always a permanent feature. In many cases, it is a temporary issue brought on by vet simple issues. An ear infection, could seriously alter the way that your ears and brain carry sound. Meanwhile, excessive levels of earwax can cause tinnitus to surface. Clearing the blockage or treating the infection will often result in the return of tinnitus-free hearing.
It is also possible that tinnitus is linked to medications. The clicking and buzzing are known side effects for several medications relating to many common conditions. Changing the medication or dosage levels could be the key to overcoming the issue.
Think you have tinnitus?
Whatever the cause of tinnitus might be, booking an appointment with the audiologist is the only way to gain the clear answers you deserve. Make sure you call today.