FAQs about Tinnitus | Ringing in the ears butterfly only - rgb

Tinnitus is a condition in which you experience a “ringing of the ears” when no other external sound is present. The sound may not always be a ring; tinnitus has appeared as a hiss, whoosh, chirp, click, roar, hum, or whistle. It may appear in one or both ears, and often points to underlying conditions. Read on to learn more about tinnitus as we answer frequently asked questions from our patients.

How many people experience ringing in the ears?

Tinnitus is a fairly common condition affecting Americans – at some point, we have all experience a brief ringing in the ears. The American Tinnitus Association estimates that “one third of all adults experience tinnitus at some point in their lives.” However, 10% to 15% of adults have experienced long-term tinnitus. The US Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly 50 million Americans experience some form of tinnitus, with 2 million that experience debilitating cases.

Are there different types of tinnitus?

There are two types of tinnitus: subjective and objective.

Subjective tinnitus is the most common form of the condition, comprising more than 99% of all tinnitus cases. Subjective tinnitus refers to cases in which only the person who experiences tinnitus hears the sounds. Often times, subjective tinnitus indicates issues with hearing and neurological reactions to hearing loss.

Objective tinnitus, on the other hand, is quite rare, comprising less than 1% of cases. With objective tinnitus, both the person who experiences the symptoms and people within their vicinity may hear the sounds. Objective tinnitus often points to issues with one’s cardiovascular or musculo-skeletal systems.

what causes tinnitus

What causes tinnitus? butterfly only - rgb

The following conditions may cause tinnitus: hearing loss, Meniere’s disease, loud noise exposure, migraines, head injury, ototoxic medication, hypertension, impacted earwax, tumors, cigarettes, high doses of caffeine, and certain types of tumors.

What are the effects of tinnitus?

For people who experience tinnitus 24/7, the symptoms of tinnitus may increase in the nighttime. The sounds and activities of the day may function as a mask to tinnitus symptoms, while at night, in the quiet, you may be more likely to hear the sounds.

The sounds of tinnitus greatly affect a person’s emotional well-being, which in turn affects physical well-being. People who experience tinnitus may experience feelings of social withdrawal, stress, anxiety, depression, nervousness, anger, tension, fatigue, and irritability. Tinnitus affects a good night’s sleep and interferes with productivity on the job.

what are effects of ringing in ears

How can I prevent tinnitus?

The instances of tinnitus increase as people get older, and it is most commonly linked with hearing loss. In fact, 90% of tinnitus cases are accompanied by some form of hearing loss. As such, in preventing tinnitus, people must protect their hearing from noise exposure, such as loud music and occupational hearing hazards (factory work, construction, etc.).

Because tinnitus is closely linked with hearing, a hearing evaluation may point to causes and courses of tinnitus treatment. By identifying the underlying conditions that cause tinnitus, a solution may be possible. If you are experiencing tinnitus, contact us for a free hearing evaluation. We will work together with your physician to bring you solutions to help treat and manage your tinnitus symptoms.

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