McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

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“Why am I hearing a ringing noise in my ears?” “How can I make that sound go away?”

If you find yourself saying things like this, you could have tinnitus, a common hearing issue where you hear noises or experience a sound that others can’t hear. This is more common than you might think. Millions of people have this condition.

Most describe it as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a dial tone, pulsing noise, buzzing, or whistling.

Ringing in the ears might seem harmless, depending on its intensity. But tinnitus shouldn’t always be neglected. Tinnitus symptoms can frequently be a sign of something more serious taking place in your body.

Here are 6 tinnitus symptoms you really should take seriously.

1. Your Quality of Life is Being Affected by The Ringing in Your Ears

26% of people who have tinnitus cope with symptoms constantly, according to some studies.

This aggravating, ever-present noise can lead to all kinds of relationship issues, anxiety, insomnia, and even depression.

It can be a struggle between the tinnitus noise and something as simple as attempting to hear your friend give you a recipe over the phone. The constant ringing has stressed you out to the point where you snap at a family member who asks you a question.

A vicious cycle can be the outcome of this continuous ringing. As your stress level rises, the ringing gets louder. And you get more stressed the louder the noise is and on and on.

If tinnitus is leading to these kinds of life challenges, it’s time to address it. It’s real, and it affects your quality of life. There are treatment options that can significantly reduce or get rid of the noise in your ears.

2. After You Switched Medications, Your Ears Began to Ring

Doctors may try several different medications to treat the same ailment whether you have chronic pain or cancer. You may ask for a different option if you start to experience severe side effects. If your tinnitus started or got seriously worse after you started a new drug, check that list of side effects and talk to your doctor.

Some common medications might cause tinnitus. These include some kinds of:

  • Loop Diuretics
  • Antibiotics
  • Chemo
  • Over-the-counter painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and even aspirin) when taken several times a day for an extended period of time.
  • Opioids (Pain Killers)

3. Headache, Seizures, And Blurred Vision Come With Tinnitus Noises

This normally indicates that your tinnitus symptoms are being caused by high blood pressure. When you have hypertension, the blood flow to your inner ear is compromised. Your general health is also in danger with high blood pressure. Over time, it may cause or worsen age-related hearing loss.

4. You Always Seem to be Leaving Work, The Gym, or a Concert When You Hear it

If you only hear the tinnitus when you leave a loud setting such as a concert, aerobics class, factory, or bar, then the place you just left had unsafe levels of noise. If you ignore this episodic tinnitus and don’t begin to protect your ears, it will likely become constant over time. And it’s commonly accompanied by hearing loss.

If you’re going to be exposed to loud noise, use the following to safeguard your hearing:

  • Not standing too close to the speakers
  • Using earplugs
  • At least once every hour, go outside or into the restroom to give your ears a break

Follow the rules regarding earplugs and earmuffs if you work in a loud environment. Your safety gear will only effectively protect you if you use it correctly.

5. You Also Have Facial Paralysis

Whether you have ringing in your ears or not, you should never dismiss facial paralysis. But when you have paralysis, nausea, headaches, and you also have tinnitus, it’s possible that you may have an acoustic neuroma (a slow growing benign brain tumor).

6. Fluctuating Hearing Loss is Accompanying Tinnitus

Are you experiencing hearing loss that comes and goes? Do you feel dizzy off and on? When accompanied by tinnitus, this indicates you need to be evaluated for Meniere’s disease. This leads to a fluid imbalance in your ears. If left untreated, it often gets worse and may increase your risks of significant falls due to lack of balance.

Tinnitus is often a sign of hearing loss. So if you are experiencing it, you should have your hearing checked more frequently. Reach out to us to make an appointment for a hearing test.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.