What Is Tinnitus?

Also known as “ringing in the ears,” tinnitus is a condition that affects a multitude of people across the globe. The frequency, duration and volume of this ringing can all vary from person to person. Some people don’t even hear a ringing sound and instead hear more of a buzzing or hissing sound.

There are several different things that can cause tinnitus in people, including hearing loss, ear infections, certain types of medication and more. If hearing loss is the cause, this can usually be diagnosed by a hearing center that offers audiological evaluations.

While tinnitus is a frustrating condition, there are treatment options available. If you are a Vancouver, WA resident still wondering what tinnitus is, read on to learn more.

How sound travels and where tinnitus comes in

Sound travels through the air via sound waves. Those sound waves enter your ear canal and cause vibrations in your eardrum, which, in turn, affects the bones of your inner ear. This video, which is presented by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, provides a more in-depth explanation of how sound travels.

Problems with your inner ear bones, such as stiffening, can cause disorders like tinnitus.

Symptoms of tinnitus

There are many things that could be symptoms of tinnitus, with the most common being a constant ringing, buzzing or similar sound in your ear. The severity and volume of the symptoms may vary and fluctuate, but it can be a frustrating condition either way. It is important to see a doctor if your tinnitus symptoms become severe, as they could lead to other problems.

Tinnitus has been known to cause dizziness and even depression in some people. Your stress might increase as a result of tinnitus, and you may have trouble concentrating. Other issues that can arise from tinnitus include fatigue, headaches, memory issues, irritability and more. Additionally, tinnitus can be a permanent condition, or it may go away with time.

Different types of tinnitus

The different types of tinnitus are classified as subjective tinnitus, somatic tinnitus, sensory tinnitus and objective tinnitus. Subjective tinnitus, which is often caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises, is the more common type of tinnitus and can range in intensity. Somatic tinnitus is usually brought on by physical stimulation, including muscle spasms. Even problems with patients’ teeth have been known to cause somatic tinnitus. Sensory tinnitus is known to cause dizziness in patients and is usually caused by other auditory problems. Objective tinnitus is quite rare and can be caused by several things, including the overuse of ear muscles.

Tinnitus treatment options

Now that you know what tinnitus is, it’s important to be aware of the treatment options available to you in Vancouver, WA. While tinnitus doesn’t currently have a cure, there are things one can do to alleviate the symptoms. Some doctors might recommend the removal of earwax, a change in medication or a hearing aid. Consult with an audiologist to find what works best for you.

For more information on what causes tinnitus in Vancouver, WA, or for hearing aid evaluations, repairs and more, contact the experts at Vancouver Hearing Aid Center today.