Have you experienced an odd ringing sound in your ear but couldn’t make out where it was coming from? That’s not your conscience reaching out to you, but it could be tinnitus.
According to the American Tinnitus Association, around 15 percent, or more than 50 million Americans, experience some form of tinnitus. People affected by tinnitus often describe a sound in their head that they cannot pinpoint. The sound varies but is often described as a ringing, buzzing, clicking, hissing or roaring noise.
Is tinnitus a serious condition?
Having tinnitus can be uncomfortable, distracting, and have a negative impact on your studies or work. Tinnitus usually goes away after a few days, but can also be an underlying symptom of a more severe condition.
Tinnitus has two types – subjective and objective tinnitus. Subjective tinnitus is more common and characterized by a ringing sound only you can hear. It can be due to problems with nerve endings that pick up sound vibrations, or an issue with the part of the brain that interprets sound.
Objective tinnitus is a ringing your physician hears when examining your inner, middle and outer ear. Objective tinnitus is actual noise occurring in the middle ear. This type of tinnitus is rare and usually caused by a problem in the blood vessels. Atherosclerosis or the buildup of cholesterol and other deposits in the blood vessels, head and neck tumors, and hypertension can increase the chances of experiencing objective tinnitus.
When to seek help?
The sooner you consult an ENT specialist about your tinnitus, the better. Patients who hear clicking sounds on one or both ears should be checked for the presence of objective tinnitus to diagnose the cause.
The doctor will ask about your medical history and then give you a physical examination. They will inspect your ear canal for discharge and signs of infection or a tumor. They will also conduct a hearing test to determine the cause of the problem.
Currently, the FDA has not approved any drug treatment for tinnitus. The most effective way to alleviate the noise is through therapy and the use of sound-generating devices. Undergoing counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy helps patients cope with tinnitus as well as reduce anxiety associated with having the hearing problem. In some cases, physicians recommend using a sound-generating device to retrain the brain to tune out the ringing sound.
Consult an ENT specialist today
Consult a doctor if you hear a ringing sound that does not go away after a few days. They will be able to diagnose and determine the most effective treatment for your tinnitus.
Peak ENT and Voice Center provides high-quality treatment and surgical procedures for various ear, nose and throat issues. Our specialists are board-certified and fellowship-trained, so you can be confident that you are in safe hands.
We use state-of-the-art medical equipment to diagnose your condition and find the most effective treatment available for you. We will evaluate your needs and create a customized treatment plan to improve your condition.
If you have more questions about our services, don’t hesitate to contact us by clicking on this link.