If you have ever experienced a ringing or buzzing in your ears, you know how frustrating tinnitus can be. A symptom usually related to another underlying condition, tinnitus varies in intensity from person to person. Some find it an occasional nuisance, while others must deal with a constant distraction that interferes with their emotional stability and quality of life. Researchers are working on a cure for tinnitus; in the meantime, there are steps you can take to manage symptoms.

Why Does Tinnitus Occur?

Simply put, tinnitus is the result of a problem in the auditory system.

But the cause behind that problem can vary from something minor such as too much earwax to a more serious medical disorder. Conditions commonly associated with tinnitus include hearing loss, noise exposure, head/neck trauma, Meniere’s disease, ototoxic medications, thyroid disorders, high blood pressure, heart conditions, vascular disorders and tumors.

As for what actually leads to the ringing (also described as buzzing, whooshing, hissing or whistling) is unknown. It is suspected that the neural circuits in the brain cells become especially sensitive when hair cells in the cochlea are damaged, which might lead to changes in the way sound is perceived.

People of all ages can experience tinnitus. Those highest at risk are older, males and smokers.

Managing Tinnitus Symptoms

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There is no cure for tinnitus. However, treatment approaches aimed at curbing symptoms and side effects can be applied. Tinnitus can lead to fatigue, mental anguish, depression, irritability, memory loss and lack of sleep. The best approach focuses on learning how to cope with the constant internal noise. Please contact our office more details.