It’s a ringing, buzzing or hissing sound that seems to be coming from inside your head. This is how people with tinnitus describe the sounds or “noise” they are hearing. It can be irritating, but it’s not usually serious. Tinnitus is a symptom of another condition like age-related hearing loss, an ear injury or ear disorder. Other potential causes include:
Tinnitus is a common issue, affecting one out of every five people. Men in particular and those over 40 tend to experience tinnitus more often.
There are two types of tinnitus – pulsatile and nonpulsatile. With pulsatile tinnitus, you’ll hear sounds created by muscles moving near your ear, changes to your ear canal or blood flow problems near your ear. Nonpulsatile tinnitus involves damaged nerves.
Your doctor will likely be able to diagnose your tinnitus by asking a few simple questions like:
Your doctor will examine your ears and may also order a hearing test.
Most tinnitus will go away on its own and won’t require any treatment. You may be able to reduce your symptoms by doing the following:
There are steps you can take to help prevent ringing in your ears, including:
If you have tinnitus that is impacting your quality of life, talk to your Mercy doctor. We want to help you get back to hearing the world around you with comfort and clarity.