If you notice a ringing noise in the ears, or what some describe as a whistling, whooshing or hissing sound, you are most likely suffering from tinnitus. When these sounds are present in either or both ears and no external sound is present, this is a symptom of tinnitus. Approximately 10 to 15% of adults suffer from tinnitus of the prolonged form. Medical attention is needed when this is the case as concentration, sleep and daily activities may be affected.
In many cases, tinnitus is the result of hearing loss which occurs as part of the aging process. The most common cause though is exposure to loud noises. It only takes one instance where you are exposed to a loud noise as cells within the inner ear may be damaged with this single exposure. Some cases are the result of a blockage or buildup of ear wax in the ear canal and others begin when certain medications are taken, including some antibiotics and aspirin. Treatment varies based on the cause of the symptoms. No cure has been found although changes in medication or removal of a blockage may lead to an improvement in symptoms.
If you suffer from tinnitus, there are many things you can do to reduce or eliminate symptoms. Avoid loud noises whenever possible and use ear plugs if you will be using noisy machines. Caffeine, decongestants and nicotine often make symptoms worse so avoid those also if at all possible. See a doctor about a hearing aid. The brain prefers to process external noises rather than internal ones so, if you amplify regular sounds, the ringing may go away. Background noise should be played whenever possible for the same reason. The brain will be distracted from the internal noise.
Behavior therapy helps many suffering from tinnitus. Relaxation techniques help those suffering from tinnitus cope with the symptoms and keep them under control. Medications, such as antidepressants and sedatives, may be of assistance if you find you are having trouble sleeping or if you are stressed as a result of this internal noise.
Speak to your doctor today if you notice a ringing, hissing or whooshing noise in one or both of your ears. Help is available. Although there isn’t a cure for tinnitus, symptoms can be reduced or eliminated for the most part so you can get your life back.