It is important to note that some individuals suffer from constant ringing in the ear. There are several causes of this condition that you should be familiar with so that the appropriate first aid measures and treatment options can be carried out or to simply determine if there is an underlying condition involved.
A small percentage of individuals regularly suffer from noise in one or both ears which is referred to as tinnitus. Even though individuals describe it as a ringing noise, it can also be perceived as roaring, whistling, hissing or even as clicking. In some cases, the noise can become very loud and can disrupt with the hearing of normal sounds. The condition can often be treated and the mode of treatment used varies depending on the underlying cause.
What are the common causes?
It is important to note that tinnitus can be triggered by various factors such as circulatory issues, age and exposure to high level of sounds. There are two recognized types of tinnitus – objective tinnitus and subjective tinnitus. When it comes to objective tinnitus, it is a condition perceivable to the doctor which indicates an underlying issue in the inner ear, surrounding muscles or connected blood vessels. If the noise is only heard by the individual, it is called as subjective tinnitus in which the cause can originate at the auditory nerve, connections to the brain or specific conditions in any part of the ear. One of the common causes of tinnitus is constant exposure to loud noises earlier in life whether work-related or recreational. Long-term exposure to loud noises can result to permanent hearing loss due to the damage on the tiny hairs in the inner ear that receives the vibrations from the air. Nevertheless, individuals over 60 years old who have hearing loss due to hereditary cause can also experience tinnitus as an associated symptom. Additionally, temporary tinnitus can also be triggered by excessive buildup of ear wax in one or both ears.
What are the rare causes?
In some cases, tinnitus can also be triggered by neck or head injuries, stress, and depression, inner ear disorder such as Meniere’s disease or benign tumors that develop on the cranial nerve. In pulsatile tinnitus which seldom occurs, this is a blood vessel disorder that can be traced to the malformed capillaries that partly block the neck arteries or veins, atherosclerosis, hypertension or tumors. Lastly, tinnitus can develop as a side effect of various medications including diuretics, quinine, cancer medications, antibiotics and even aspirin in high doses.
It is best to consult a doctor if tinnitus occurs abruptly and accompanied by dizziness or hearing loss. An abrupt ringing in the ears can occur when the individual is prescribed with new medications. Once this occurs, the doctor must be informed right away.