If you have been hearing a constant ringing in your ears and you can’t find a source for the noise, you are likely experiencing tinnitus.
Tinnitus is often described as a ringing in the ears, though some people experience tinnitus differently, such as buzzing, clicking, static, or other repetitive and irritating monotone sounds. Many people experience ringing in their ears for short periods of time, but often have it go away without any intervention.
However, for some people, getting rid of their tinnitus isn’t as easy as just waiting it out. Our hearing instrument specialist here at Modern Hearing Solutions of Wyoming has helped people manage the ringing in their ears and has some advice for how you can deal with your tinnitus.
What Causes Ringing In The Ears
If you are experiencing ringing in your ears, it is important to understand what may be causing the problem. Without knowing the cause, you usually can’t stop the ringing in your ears.
There are high instances of hearing loss among those who suffer from chronic tinnitus. While not all tinnitus sufferers have hearing loss, there is still a strong correlation between the two hearing conditions.
Often, when hearing loss occurs, the ringing in your ears that your brain normally ignores is now one of the few things that your brain can hear clearly. Addressing the hearing loss can give your brain greater stimulation and prevent your tinnitus from being so overpowering.
Loud Noise Exposure
A major trigger of tinnitus is loud noise exposure. Think about your last Fourth of July celebrations. If you were too close to the fireworks—or the announcer speakers at the rodeo—you likely had ringing ears from the experience.
The impact of sound waves on our sensitive auditory system can trigger tinnitus symptoms that may go away in a few hours or remain permanently.
Head or Neck Injury
An injury to your head or neck can be enough to cause ringing in your ears, as these two areas often overlap with your auditory system.
There are certain medications that are ototoxic, which means they are harmful to your hearing and can cause both hearing loss as well as trigger tinnitus. These medications can range from loop diuretics that require a prescription to everyday over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin.
Sometimes the ototoxic effects are temporary. However, sometimes, the effects are permanent and require you to take steps to correct the arising side-effects.
A number of health issues can cause tinnitus as well as impact your overall hearing. Some of the main culprits that can trigger your tinnitus are:
- TMJ disorder
- Acoustic neuroma
- Meniere’s disease
- High blood pressure
- Stress, anxiety, depression
For most of the causes of tinnitus, it is impossible to know if they are the source of your problem without being checked out. However, your average doctor doesn’t have specialized information on tinnitus and will often tell you to just learn to live with the ringing in your ears.
Rather than accept this answer, you can work with our hearing specialist and have a tinnitus evaluation. During this evaluation, he will perform a diagnostic hearing evaluation to help rule out some of the issues and discuss your medical history to determine what tinnitus treatments will be most effective for your needs.
How To Stop Ringing In The Ears
Now that you have a good idea of what may have triggered your tinnitus, it’s time to get to the meat of your question—how do you stop the ringing in your ears?
Well, the first thing to understand is that there is no cure for tinnitus. Anyone peddling a cure should be approached with caution and skepticism since, at this time, there is no known cure for tinnitus.
However, even without a tinnitus cure, there are several ways you can manage your tinnitus to the point where you can mostly stop the ringing in your ears.
- Use hearing aids – As hearing loss is a major factor in tinnitus, it makes sense to address tinnitus and hearing loss with hearing aids. Our hearing instrument specialist will help you choose hearing aids with built-in tinnitus management, so you can keep the ringing in your ears under control. Also, you can use hearing aids without having hearing loss and just use the tinnitus management features.
- Utilize a sound generator – If your tinnitus is mostly causing you to lose sleep but isn’t overly irritating during the day, then a sound generator may be all you need. A sound generator is usually a small machine that emits soothing sounds such as ocean waves on a beach or simple white noise. That way, you aren’t left in silence, which can aggravate tinnitus symptoms.
- Wear hearing protection – Tinnitus can become worse with further exposure to loud noises. To prevent that, it is best if you have the right hearing protection for your activity.
- Make lifestyle changes – As medication and health issues can be the source of the ringing in your ears, you may need to make lifestyle changes to reduce your tinnitus. These changes can mean changing medication—if possible—to taking time to meditate and de-stress.
To get the ringing in your ears under control, contact us to start working with our hearing specialist at either our Powell, WY or Cody, WY locations and get started on your tinnitus management plan.