This is not easy as tinnitus is often caused by a combination of factors. In fact, tinnitus is often a symptom of other underlying conditions rather than a disease in itself.
Moreover, what is causing your tinnitus symptoms may be different from another tinnitus sufferer. This is why conventional medication is unable to provide widespread and lasting relief for everyone.
To help you with identifying the causes of your tinnitus symptoms, I have prepared the following list of common tinnitus causes.
So, What Causes Tinnitus?
Common tinnitus causes include:
1. Cochlea (Inner Ear) damage due to exposure to loud noise
- A single exposure to high volume, high frequency noise such as an explosion or gunshot near the ears can permanently damage or even destroy hair-like receptor cells, known as cilia, in the inner ear. This may also cause the brain to re-run the last noises heard.
- Prolonged exposure to loud noises, such as a loud concert or a noisy work environment, may cause temporary tinnitus symptoms. Brain imaging researches have suggested that our brain seems to be wired to perceive loud noises with distress. However, in some cases, the prolonged exposure to loud noises may be severe enough to damage the receptors in the cochlea.
2. Hearing loss
- A patient suffering from hearing loss may experience tinnitus as the brain is trying to adjust to it.
3. Ear Infections
- Severe and repeated ear infections, if left untreated, can damage the cochlea.
4. Head or neck trauma
- E.g. Physical injury or a blow to the head or neck during an accident or sports injury.
5. Certain disorders, such as hypo or hyperthyroidism, Meniere’s disease, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia and thoracic outlet syndrome, can have tinnitus as a symptom.
- E.g. Meniere’s disease is a chronic disease of the inner ear caused by an increase in fluid in the ear canal. Other symptoms include vertigo and vomiting. If left untreated, it can even lead to deafness.
- When tinnitus is a symptom of another disorder, treating the disorder can usually help eliminate the tinnitus.
6. Cardiovascular disease
7. Ototoxic medications (i.e. medications that are toxic to the ear)
- Some anti-inflammatory drugs may produce tinnitus as a side effect without damaging the inner ear. Stopping the medication will usually eliminate the tinnitus noise.
- However some antibiotics may cause tinnitus symptoms and damage the inner ear permanently.
- Always report to your doctor if you experience ringing in the ear or other noise after taking a particular medication.
- E.g. people who are allergic to aspirin may experience hearing constant ringing sound.
9. Side-effects of some prescribed medications
- E.g. Anti-depressant drugs may help relieve tinnitus symptoms in some patients but may worsen others.
10. Sinus infection
- Chronic sinus infection or adverse reactions to medications for sinus relief may result in the build of mucous, and hence pressure, in the inner ear.
- Common sounds heard by sinus-induced tinnitus sufferers include a clucking sound, a high-pitch ringing sound, a gurgling/whirring sound or a periodic ringing sound in the affected ear.
11. Certain types of tumors in the inner ear or affecting the nerve running between ear and brain
- Acoustic neuroma is the most common tumor related to tinnitus.
- Surgery can be used to remove the tumor but it has only alleviated the tinnitus symptoms in about half of the patients.
12. Earwax build-up
- Usually the tinnitus symptoms will be alleviated once the excess earwax is removed. However, do look for experienced doctor to avoid damaging the ear canal.
13. Jaw misalignment
- The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jaw to the eardrum. Damage to the joint or misalignment can affect the sound waves, hence causing tinnitus.
- The good news is that once TMJ is treated, your tinnitus symptoms will be alleviated.
- A simple test to find out if you are suffering from TMJ is to check if the volume or intensity of your tinnitus noise changes when you clench your teeth.
14. Stress, anxiety, depression, emotional illness, panic
- Although the exact physiological mechanism causing tinnitus is still unknown, it has been proven that these emotions and stress are linked to tinnitus. In some cases, they were the precursors triggering tinnitus symptoms. They are also found to be linked to the increase in severity of tinnitus symptoms suffered by some patients.
15. Emotional trauma
- Unforeseen traumatic events have triggered temporary tinnitus in some people. In rarer cases, the tinnitus symptoms seems permanent and do not go away by itself.
16. Pulsatile tinnitus
- This is a rare type of tinnitus that sounds like a rhythmic pulsing. This can be caused by abnormal blood flow in arteries or veins near the inner ear, brain tumors or irregularities in brain structure.
If you recently started experiencing tinnitus or have been suffering from tinnitus for a long time, do not panic.
See an audiologist or ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) for a formal diagnosis to determine if it is caused by damage to the cochlea, some form of hearing loss, physical injury, an underlying medical condition/allergy or due to emotional trauma and stress.
Also, review your current medications, including vitamins and supplements, with your doctor. Different tinnitus causes will need different types of treatments, hence finding what causes your tinnitus is vital.
Find Out More…
Hopefully this page has been useful in providing you with a basic understanding of the common tinnitus causes. However, remember that you should always seek a formal diagnosis with a doctor.
What I also recommend you to do is to check out Thomas Coleman’s Tinnitus Miracle to find out more about Tinnitus causes and how his unique 5 step holistic system can address the different root causes simultaneously to eliminate the tinnitus noise forever.
Recent visitors land on this page after searching the following keywords: tinnitus causes, tinnitus causes and treatment, causes of tinnitus, what causes tinnitus, tinnitus cause