Tinnitus can appear at any age, but it’s more common as you get older and affects 10-15% of all adults. Michael Jaindl, MD, at South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat in Lehigh Acres, Florida, works closely with you to determine the cause of your tinnitus and provide a customized solution. You may be able to tune out the sound, but your tinnitus may be severe enough to affect your hearing or interfere with sleep. To get help for tinnitus, call the office today.
When you have tinnitus, you hear a sound even though nothing in your external environment causes the sound. Tinnitus may cause a variety of phantom noises, including:
You may also experience pulsation or beating noises. Tinnitus may come and go, stay constant, sound soft, or produce such a loud noise that it interferes with your hearing. You could hear it in one or both ears.
You may experience tinnitus when tiny hairs in your ears are bent or broken. These hairs vibrate from sound waves and send messages to your brain. When the hairs are damaged, they send random messages, resulting in the phantom sound of tinnitus.
A few of the most common reasons patients develop tinnitus include:
Some uncommon causes of tinnitus include:
In addition to causing tinnitus, long-term exposure to loud sounds, including heavy equipment and frequently listening to blaring music, can lead to hearing loss.
Less common causes of tinnitus include temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), head injuries, and Meniere’s disease. Your tinnitus could also arise from muscle spasms in your inner ear.
After learning about the type of sound you hear and examining your ears, the team at South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat may perform a hearing exam or order imaging tests, depending on the suspected cause of your tinnitus.
If an underlying cause is diagnosed, your treatment begins by addressing that condition. This could include earwax removal, changing medications if they’re responsible for your tinnitus, or treating a blood vessel condition. Your doctor at South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat may also prescribe medication to reduce your symptoms.
Many patients find that white noise helps block their tinnitus. They may use machines that simulate environmental sounds or the background noise of a fan.
When your tinnitus is due to age-related hearing loss, a hearing aid may reduce tinnitus. You can also get masking devices that are worn like hearing aids but help block tinnitus.
If you’d like an evaluation for tinnitus, call South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat today.