Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, can range from a temporary minor annoyance to an overwhelming noise that can drive you crazy!
Here are ten things you may not know about tinnitus that can help you to cope or resolve the issue.
- Tinnitus is a pretty common ailment, and about 10-15% of adults will experience tinnitus in their lifetimes. In the US, about 50 million people suffer with some degree of tinnitus, and approximately 25% of those seek medical attention for it.
- The way tinnitus is experienced can vary: while some describe it as a ringing, others have described it as a hissing, whooshing, chirping, clicking or whistling sound in the ears.
- According to recent studies, about 20% of teenagers have permanent tinnitus, in which they hear ringing all the time. Since only 5% of teenagers report wearing hearing protection against loud noises, this could be a cause.
- Tinnitus has many causes (exposure to loud noise being only one of them). Some people develop tinnitus for no apparent reason, and it can affect people of any gender, background, age or profession can be affected.
- Tinnitus is not related to any psychiatric condition: an actual noise is heard by the sufferer anywhere in the head or in either or both ears.
- Veterans are particularly prone to tinnitus: a whopping 60% of military personnel returning from Afghanistan and Iraq have tinnitus or hearing loss. This makes it the most common war wound!
- If you have a lot of stress or anxiety, you are more likely to suffer from tinnitus. Those who suffer from depression, anxiety, high stress levels or panic attacks are prone to tinnitus.
- There are two types of tinnitus: objective tinnitus and subjective tinnitus. Objective tinnitus can be heard by an observer with a stethoscope, whether or not it is audible to the person who has it. Subjective tinnitus, however, is only audible to the sufferer, and it is more common.
- Smoking cigarettes has been shown to cause tinnitus. The chemicals in cigarettes cause damage to the inner ear and result in tinnitus and chronic ear infections.
- People are sometimes embarrassed to seek help for tinnitus or mention it to family or friends, hoping it will go away on its own. The fact is, tinnitus doesn’t usually go away, unless it was caused by a medication or other factor that is removed. If you are experiencing tinnitus it is worth seeking medical attention for it.
If you suffer from tinnitus, it is definitely worth seeking medical attention to see if it can be treated and you can find relief.
The first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.
Diablo Hearing Services 2301 Camino Ramon, STE 106 San Ramon (925) 394-4646