Help! My Ears Have Started to Ring

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Did the title of this pag relate to you? Have you recently started to hear a strange sound inside your ears, even though no one else is able to hear it? You have a condition called Tinnitus, often referred to as a ringing in your ears. First of all, please know that Tinnitus is a very common condition. 50 Million Americans are diagnosed with Tinnitus every year. With the American population being about 300 million, it means that 1 out of every 6 Americans is going to experience a ringing in their ears in a lifetime. A recent survey conducted in Europe suggested that 1 out of 7 Europeans will also experience a ringing in their ears. But, though the condition is very common, please know that Tinnitus doesn’t have to be permanent. Here’s a good medical journal that investigates the topic: is Tinnitus permanent?

So, if you have become a part of this unfortunate statistic, here are things you must do.

See a hearing specialist, immediately

Hearing specialists are called audiologists. Audiologists can sometimes also be ENT doctors. Ideally, you want to see someone who is both an ENT doctor as well as a certified audiologist. These doctors specialize in diagnosing, treating or managing problems with your ear, including hearing and balance. 

Studies show that 90% of people with Tinnitus also have hearing loss. Hearing loss doesn’t always have to be full hearing loss where you go deaf. In many cases, people can just hear a reduced range of frequencies than before. However, because they are able to hear everyday sounds like traffic, TV, other people and music from their home’s speakers, they assume they don’t have hearing loss. Unfortunately, hearing loss gradually intensifies and people will get to a point where they start going conventionally deaf or hard of hearing. So, if you have Tinnitus, use it as a very early warning sign that your hearing is on the decline. See an audiologist for a hearing test immediately. If you are found to have hearing loss, an audiologist will help you get customized hearing aids that can immediately reverse lost hearing. In many cases, Tinnitus can go away simply because your hearing aids have restored your malfunctioning hearing. Hearing aids are usually able to help when hearing loss is detected very early on. The longer you leave hearing loss unattended, the more the chances of Tinnitus and also hearing loss becoming permanent. 

If an audiologist evaluates your hearing and says your hearing is fine, it might be time to look for other causes of your Tinnitus. It could be possible that you have a case of pulsatile Tinnitus. Pulsatile tinnitus happens when you have high blood pressure or an aneurysm that is causing turbulent blood flow. If such turbulence happens close to the ear’s structures, the sounds or vibrations of turbulent blood can present itself as pulsatile Tinnitus where one hears a whooshing or swirling sort of sound that is often in sync with their heartbeat or pulse. 

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