Ringing In Ears

Ringing in ears is a common problem and may be evident after exposure to loud noises for a prolonged period or as a result of an existing ear condition.

Observe Your Symptoms
For several days take note of noise duration, types of ringing, frequency and severity. Should the need arise you will then be equipped to communicate the symptoms to your doctor in a way that will facilitate accurate diagnosis.

It should be noted that ringing in ears can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition (i.e., age-related hearing loss, circulatory system disorder, etc.) requiring further investigation in an attempt at relieving the problem.

You May Have Tinnitus If Any Of These Noises Can Be Heard

  • Ringing In EarsRinging
  • Roaring
  • Buzzing
  • Clicking
  • Hissing
  • Humming
  • Whistling

These sounds may be noticeable in one or both ears, may vary in pitch from a high squeal to a low hum, they may come and go, or be present at all times regardless of environmental stimulation. Indeed, individuals will experience tinnitus in varying ways.

It May Not Be Tinnitus
Keep in mind that tinnitus as a symptom is usually not brought about by environmental stimulants, but it can be worsened by them. For example, if you have been exposed to a large noise such as an explosion, there may be ringing in your ears for a short time before disappearing. Essentially this is not tinnitus.

When Can The Sounds Be Heard?
For ear ringing to be considered tinnitus, the sounds will be heard even when there are no external sources. For example, you may hear ringing in your ears in the dead of night when everything is quiet and there are no other noises in your vicinity, such as power tools, television, etc. Tinnitus ear ringing can be heard at any time of day or night.
The emphasis with tinnitus is on sounds inside your ears, rather than sounds coming from external sources.

When To See A Doctor If you suspect that you have tinnitus and the ringing in ears is affecting your normal life, your next step is to see a doctor. Tests will be carried out and you may require treatment for tinnitus and its underlying medical condition.

Useful Resources:

NIDC:  http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/Pages/tinnitus.aspx

Ringing In Ears Overview:   http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/kb/content/symptom/tinit.html

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