Ear ringing or tinnitus (Latin) is a ringing, swishing, or whistling sound heard by a person despite the absence of any sounds. Most people have come across such problem many times in their life. This can happen due to several reasons. If you are hearing sounds like buzzing, hissing, humming, whistling, etc, you are suffering from tinnitus. Usually this is the condition experienced by old people because of breakdown of nerves in their ears. However, now even youngsters suffer tinnitus because their ears are exposed more to loud music.
Some people who have just come out of a big party or clubs, experience tinnitus for a short period. However, if your ears are frequently exposed to high intensity noise, then you will experience tinnitus for a long period. If it is not treated on time, it can aggravate and cause hearing loss permanently. Some forms of tinnitus can be normal such as hearing your own body sounds like breathing noise. You can hear them only when you are at a quiet place. If you think that you hear sounds, which are not actually there, then you should check whether you suffer tinnitus. The following paragraphs will tell you more about it.
Doctors say that people with hearing loss can also have tinnitus. This can be the early symptom of hearing loss. It is caused by the damage on the microscopic endings of the hearing nerve in the ear due to loud noises. Tinnitus can happen in the inner ear, middle ear, outer ear, and the brain. Most of the people as they grow old they encounter with various degrees of hearing impairment that lead to tinnitus. Ears are very sensitive organ and you should start protecting your ears from high intensity noises. If you are at a place where you cannot avoid loud noises, you should remember to protect your ears. You can prevent tinnitus by taking extra care of your ears.
Some medicines which have Ototoxic medication can cause tinnitus. Whenever you are taking any medicine, you should be sure that it does not contain Ototoxic medications. Medicines such as aspirin, blood control medicine, contraceptive pills, heart medicines, etc, contain Ototoxic medications.
Other causes for tinnitus are Ostosclerosis or calcium buildup on the bones of the middle ear, allergies, earwax, swelling in the ear canal, vitamin deficiency, depression, intake of certain food like cheese, chocolate, caffeine, high sugared food, MSG, etc.
If you start having ear ringing, you should check for its persistence. If you think that you have ear ringing for days, you should see the doctor immediately. The doctor will examine you and may give a hearing test called audiogram. If this test does not show any sign, the doctor may ask you to go for tests like auditory brain stem response (ABR) a test of the hearing nerves, CT scan to check for tumors, or MRI scan.
To an extent, you can prevent any ear problems by practicing certain things. You should always protect your ears from loud noises, eat healthy food, and exercise regularly.