Understanding Tinnitus: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Feb 6, 2024

Understanding TinnitusWhile tinnitus can be a persistent challenge, understanding its causes and symptoms is a crucial step toward effective management. Whether through lifestyle adjustments, medical interventions, or therapeutic approaches, there are various treatment options available.


Here, we’ll help you gain a greater understanding of tinnitus: what it is, some of its common causes, and how tinnitus symptoms are treated. Then, we’ll discuss where to go for tinnitus treatment so you can experience tinnitus relief and a higher quality of life.


What Is Tinnitus and How Do You Know If You Have It?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, tinnitus can be defined as “the medical term for ringing in the ears.” It’s important to understand, however, that tinnitus can mean different things for different individuals. While most people with tinnitus do hear ringing sounds, others hear buzzing, clicking, humming, or other noises. Regardless of the type of sound, the hallmark symptom of tinnitus is perceiving noises in the ears when there is no external sound source.


Constantly hearing sounds that aren’t really there can be extremely frustrating and for some people, debilitating. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and even difficulty concentrating on tasks or sleeping at night.


Understanding Tinnitus: Common Causes

Understanding tinnitus starts with this simple fact: Tinnitus is not a medical condition in and of itself. Rather, it’s the symptom of other health concerns and medical issues.


Common causes of tinnitus include:


  • Age-related Hearing Loss – Hearing loss is often a natural byproduct of the aging process, with the auditory system undergoing changes that impact our hearing ability. Reduced auditory stimulation due to hearing loss can lead your brain to ‘hear’ sounds that aren’t really there … like the ringing sounds characteristic of tinnitus.


  • Noise-induced Hearing Loss – Repeated exposure to loud noises over time is a recipe for noise-induced hearing loss. Even single exposures to very loud noises can cause hearing changes by damaging the delicate hair cells inside the inner ear. Whether it happens over time or immediately, noise-induced hearing loss can also lead to tinnitus.


  • Ear Obstructions – Earwax buildups or even fluid buildups from ear infections are common causes for tinnitus. Fortunately, both of these conditions are easily treatable. Professional earwax removal is recommended for safely eliminating excess earwax and medications are often effective for treating ear infections.


  • Medical Conditions – Health issues like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, and even some medications have tinnitus as a symptom.


Understanding Tinnitus: Cure vs. Treatment

One of the keys to fully understanding tinnitus is recognizing that since it’s not a medical condition itself, it can’t be cured. When the underlying cause is treated, however, tinnitus symptoms may disappear or at least be reduced.


For example, let’s say someone is experiencing tinnitus due to an earwax buildup. When the earwax blockage is removed, the ear canal is opened up and tinnitus symptoms may go away altogether. The same may be true for an ear infection that’s effectively treated with antibiotics. This is why it’s so important to seek help from a healthcare professional, such as an audiologist, whenever tinnitus symptoms are present. There’s a good possibility that an underlying medical condition can be identified and treated, getting rid of the tinnitus symptoms for good or at least minimizing them.


Sometimes, however, the cause of tinnitus is not clear. Without an associated medical condition that can be treated, only the tinnitus symptoms can be addressed. Use of a noise machine or in-ear noise generator can often provide tinnitus relief, even if it’s just a temporary solution.


Tinnitus Treatment In Mesa and Scottsdale, AZ

At Advanced Hearing Group, we’re committed to helping you enjoy life through the gift of sound. That means helping you hear the sounds you should be hearing with services like earwax removal, hearing loss treatment, and hearing loss prevention through custom hearing protection. But it also means helping you with the sounds you shouldn’t be hearing with our tinnitus treatment options.


Our audiology clinics are conveniently located in Mesa and Scottsdale, AZ, enabling us to service clients from Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, Queen Creek, and throughout the greater Phoenix area. Simply give us a call or schedule an appointment with our audiologists today to get on the road to hearing well and living well!

Learn more about tinnitus causes, symptoms, and treatment here.

Understanding Tinnitus: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment was last modified: February 6th, 2024 by Adam DiPuccio

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