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Debunking the ‘Ringing In Your Ears’ Myth: What It REALLY Means

Jun 6, 2024

Ringing In Your EarsHave you ever been told that when you hear a sharp ringing in your ears it means someone is talking about you? This Old Wives tale has been around for generations and you probably heard it as a child.


Where Did the ‘Ringing In Your Ears’ Myth Originate?

Some say it dates all the way back to the first century. In his encyclopedia, Naturalis Historia, Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder stated that you could tell others were talking about you if you heard ringing in your ears. This belief was then passed down from generation to generation as fact.


In modern times, we’ve come to understand that ringing in your ears, otherwise known as tinnitus, can actually be caused by a variety of factors. For some people, tinnitus is a temporary condition that comes and goes. For others, it’s a persistent condition that interferes with daily life. While some people experience tinnitus as a ringing sound, it can also present as buzzing, hissing, or humming. It’s important to realize that the sound is actually not there but rather, is perceived by the brain to be present.


What’s Causing the Sensation of Ringing In Your Ears?


Whether temporary or chronic, tinnitus can be caused by any of the following:


  • Loud noise exposure: Excessive noise can damage tiny hair cells in the inner ear. This, in turn, can lead to ringing in your ears or even noise-induced hearing loss. Gunshots, loud music, construction equipment, and fireworks are just a few of the things that can lead to loud noise exposure.


  • Ear infections or earwax blockages: Ear infections, earwax buildup, or blockages in the ear canal can cause or exacerbate tinnitus. Watch this video to see professional earwax removal in action, leaving the patient with clear ear canals and no more ringing in their ears.


  • Age-related hearing loss: For many people, some degree of hearing loss is a natural by-product of the aging process. Along with it, some individuals experience tinnitus.


  • Ototoxic medications: Even though they’re effective at treating other medical conditions, some medications can actually cause tinnitus or make an existing case worse. Such medicines include some chemotherapy drugs and even certain antibiotics.


  • Medical conditions: Tinnitus can indicate the presence of other health concerns like high blood pressure or diabetes.


How Is Tinnitus Treated or Managed?

First, it’s important to realize that there is currently NO cure for tinnitus. That being said, it IS possible to cure some of the conditions that cause tinnitus. For example, if an earwax buildup is causing ringing in your ears, professional earwax removal can eliminate the problem. Similarly, effectively managing high blood pressure or diabetes can improve tinnitus symptoms if they’re directly related to one of these health conditions.


If tinnitus is caused by ototoxic medications, talk to your doctor or healthcare professional managing your care. It may be possible to get help from other medications that DON’T impact your hearing.


If the cause of tinnitus is unknown, some of the following treatment modalities may be beneficial:


  • Hearing aids
  • Sound therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Lifestyle changes


Tinnitus Treatment in Mesa and Scottsdale, AZ

While tinnitus can be challenging to live with, it IS possible to manage. Just remember that you are not alone and there are support systems in place to help you find relief and protect your hearing health.


If you experience persistent ringing in your ears, schedule an appointment with our Mesa or Scottsdale audiologists as soon as possible. We can help rule out any underlying conditions and discuss appropriate tinnitus treatment options.

Debunking the ‘Ringing In Your Ears’ Myth: What It REALLY Means was last modified: June 6th, 2024 by Adam DiPuccio

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