What Is Ringing In The Ears?
You are alone in your quiet home; you hear a noise and wonder what is ringing in the ears? That sound you are hearing is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. The ringing is known as tinnitus. The sounds you hear are not produced from outside your body. The ringing is generated internally. Only you can hear the sounds. In unusual cases, a physician examining the ears can hear the ringing. Tinnitus can be a minor annoyance, or it can be a severe distraction that prevents you from functioning normally.
Is The Ringing In Your Ears Tinnitus?
What types of sound are associated with tinnitus? The noises range from the typical ringing to a roar. The sounds can be soft, and they can be loud. You can hear the ringing in one ear, and you can hear it in both ears. The ringing can come and go. You may have tinnitus and not notice it when you are busy. It may just become a background noise. On other occasions, it may drown out your thoughts and outside noises. The way to determine if you have tinnitus is to get in a quiet room as possible. Block out any external distractions and listen. If you hear sounds, then it is likely tinnitus.
A simple example of tinnitus is a one-time exposure to a loud noise. Have you ever heard a large explosion, or been subjected to loud music. After the large noise leaves, your ears ring. What is ringing in the ears? It is the aftermath of the large noise. That is the reason workers exposed to noise wear protective equipment for their ears. The tinnitus from the loud noise will slowly fade away over time without treatment. However, continual exposure to loud noises will prevent that result, and make the symptoms permanent.
How Old Do You Have To Be To Hear Ringing In The Ears?
Tinnitus is age-related. The older you become, the more likely you are to suffer the symptoms. Aging and hearing loss go hand in hand, and tinnitus follows right along. Just consider it a normal part of the aging process. Not everyone over 60 will suffer from tinnitus, but aging is a significant cause of the problem. The main cause of tinnitus is damage to the inner ear. This damage causes a signal to be sent to the brain indicating the presence of a noise, when in reality there is no sound. It is like a false alarm. You think you are hearing noises, but there are none. There are no sound waves, just faulty wiring in the ear.
What Can Cause Ringing In The Ears?
Tinnitus can also be the result of an inner ear infection. It can also result from excessive wax in the ears which block sounds and affect hearing. Both of these conditions may require treatment by a physician. The treatment deals with the underlying cause, not the tinnitus. When the infection or ear blockage is resolved, then the tinnitus should dissipate. If tinnitus is causing you difficulty, then see a physician to determine if there is a treatable medical condition that can stop the ringing. It might be as simple as cleaning out the wax in your ears. Doing that properly requires a physician, as home remedies risk permanent damage to the ear.
As a general rule, the better your health, the less likely you are to suffer from tinnitus. This is not a hard and fast rule, but it applies to many medical conditions. Stay healthy and you will suffer fewer problems. Besides staying healthy, other remedies include the use of a background source of soothing sound. Buy a machine that produces the sound of the ocean. This tends to mask the ringing. Stay calm. Stress makes tinnitus worse. Alcohol and nicotine can also aggravate tinnitus.
Other causes for ringing in the ears can be found at Ringing In The Ears Cause - How To Find A Cure For Ringing In The Ears.
Tinnitus is probably not life-threatening but it can be a nuisance. Take action to minimize the ringing, and know when to seek the care of a physician. Be aware of what is ringing in the ears.