Causes, Management, Treatment

There are treatments for tinnitus available today that give many people relief from this condition. The best solution for one person may not work for another, so finding a treatment plan that works well requires some trial and error.

Understanding Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a condition that affects millions of people, and it can have a profound impact on your life. It’s especially common among older adults, and it can be caused by age-related hearing loss, an ear injury or circulatory problems such as atherosclerosis.


While tinnitus often occurs with other health issues like high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus, they are not always related in some cases where tinnitus may start after traumatic head injuries or exposure to loud noise over time.


It’s not just an annoyance; it can make you feel stressed or anxious, and the noise can keep you up at night. If you’re suffering from tinnitus, you know how difficult it is to live with.  There are treatments for tinnitus available today that give many people relief from this condition.


The best solution for one person may not work for another, so finding a treatment plan that works well requires some trial and error.  When a person has tinnitus it is often an indicator of some underlying problem in the ear or brain. 

Tinnitus Symptoms

Tinnitus brings about different symptoms depending on what may be causing them; however there are still many possible treatment options available to those who have been diagnosed with this atypical hearing disability such as medications, sound therapies (such as masking devices), counseling sessions, etc.


Many people with ear and head noises live in fear of the next noise coming. It can seem like a roaring, ringing or buzzing sound in your ear, and it may be intermittent or persistent. Tinnitus can affect one ear, both ears, high-pitched sounds such as “whispering” (auditory vertigo), low frequency humming such as fan noise (medical tinnitus). Tinnitus symptoms are not limited to a ringing in the ears, but also include other experiences such as beating sounds and low humming. 


In some ways, tinnitus is considered more debilitating than hearing loss because one cannot simply cover up or mask the sound. Altering lifestyles can help alleviate many of the most troublesome symptoms, like stress and sleep deprivation. If this doesn’t relieve your tinnitus symptoms please call a physician and receive medical attention right away if you feel any type of tingling sensations in areas near your head.

Common Causes of Tinnitus

  • Hearing LossIf the hairs inside of your inner ear are bent or broken (this happens as you age) or when you are regularly exposed to loud sounds – they can send electrical impulses randomly to your brain. This causes tinnitus. 
  • Ear infection or ear canal blockageAn ear infection (or blockage) can occur in one or both ears, with pain, tinnitus and hearing loss being the main symptoms. Treatment for ear canal blockage starts by clearing any obstruction from your ear canal to relieve pressure that may cause you discomfort. 
  • Head or neck injuriesWhen a person suffers head or neck trauma, it can affect their ability to hear. Such injuries usually cause tinnitus in only one ear.
  • MedicationsTinnitus can be caused or worsened by certain medications. Some people find relief from the bothersome noise when they stop taking these drugs.   Medications are notorious for causing tinnitus, including some of the most popular being NSAIDs and certain antibiotics. Other drugs that have been known to produce this effect include cancer medications, water pills (diuretics), antimalarial medication, antidepressants.
  • Meniere’s diseaseTinnitus is an early sign that you may have Meniere’s disease, a disorder where your inner ear fluid pressure becomes abnormal.
  • Eustachian tube dysfunctionThe Eustachian tube connects your ear to the throat. When this gets enlarged, you’ll get a feeling of fullness and discomfort from pressure inside the canal, which may trigger tinnitus.
  • Ear bone changesHearing loss can be caused by a number of different factors, and one such cause is otosclerosis. This condition affects your middle ear bones, causing them to grow abnormally which in turn causes hearing problems and tinnitus. 
  • Muscle spasms in the inner earOne of the first signs of multiple sclerosis is tinnitus. Ringing in the ears can be caused by muscles tensing up and causing a spasm inside the inner ear. This can also lead to hearing loss and a feeling of fullness in the ear canal.
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disordersWhen there is a problem in the joint on each side of your head in front of your ears where your lower jawbone meets, you might experience ear popping, pain or tinnitus. 
  • Acoustic neuroma or other head and neck tumorsAcoustic neuroma, a benign tumor that develops on one of your cranial nerves which controls balance and hearing, can cause tinnitus. Other tumors near or inside the head may also be to blame for this ailment including brainstem gliomas.
  • Blood vessel disordersScientists are still trying to figure out what causes tinnitus, but they think it might be due to blood flow changes in the ear. The condition of your blood vessels can affect the way that tinnitus affects you. For one, if they are malformed, this will cause more forceful circulation through veins and arteries which could make tinnitus worse due to increased sound waves from stronger pulsating flow in vascular channels.

Can tinnitus be prevented?

Loud noises can cause hearing loss and tinnitus, but there are ways to make the damage less severe or prevent this condition in general. If you’re exposed to loud sounds for extended periods of time, try using earplugs which prevent sound from damaging your eardrums and the hair cells of your ears.

Limit alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. These substances can affect blood flow which in turn contributes to tinnitus symptoms like ringing in the ears or hearing loss.

When to see a doctor for tinnitus

Some people may experience temporary discomfort or symptoms similar to tinnitus after getting an upper respiratory infection. If the symptoms do not improve within one week, it’s time to seek medical attention.

If you start noticing hearing loss with tinnitus-related symptoms such as dizziness or vertigo you need to see a doctor because these could be signs of another underlying condition.

Living with Tinnitus

Managing tinnitus symptoms is an art, and one that takes commitment. One way you can do this is by looking after your physical health. Start listening to the body rather than just being reactive when signs of stress manifest themselves in repeated headaches or difficulty sleeping for example. 

Stress management strategies utilizing a combination of relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation or exercise can be invaluable in reducing the fatigue felt by chronic sufferers of tinnitus. Experts have documented how regular targeted exercise combined with coping mechanisms to significantly lower symptoms or frequency of tinnitus over time.

If you’re having other symptoms caused by an underlying medical condition, treating the condition may help improve your tinnitus symptoms, too.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss Treatment, Massachusetts:  Hearing loss can be a damaging condition that alters the quality of life for many people. However, there are methods to help improve both speech and other sounds so that people with hearing loss can still enjoy their lives to the fullest. If you feel as if your hearing may not be as good as it used to be, take the initiative to contact an audiologist right away. Properly diagnosing the problem can help in facilitating accurate and effective treatments.   Audiologists at Atlantic Hearing Care are experts in determining the types of hearing loss and choosing the best treatments for recovery.


The first step towards better hearing health is an appointment with our expert staff. Contact us today:

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