What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is an issue or condition that causes patients to hear noises that are not actually there. The noise in question could be anything from the tweeting of a bird to the sound of an engine or even music. It’s actually remarkably common for it to be a ringing, whistling or hissing, though researchers are not sure why. As your audiologist will inform you, tinnitus cannot be cured but it can certainly be treated. However, most patients are curious about what caused this condition to develop in the first place. You might be shocked to find that there are a variety of causes that could be at play here.
Damage from loud noises
The most common cause of tinnitus is certainly due to exposure from loud noises. Anything over about 75 decibels puts you at risk of damaging your ears if you are exposing yourself to it regularly or for long periods. Generally speaking, the louder the noise is, the less time you need to spend around it to damage your ears.
Damage like this can occur in both your profession and personal life. So, for instance, you might be working in a factory surrounded by heavy equipment. The sound of this could be enough to damage your ears and cause you to develop tinnitus.
Or, you might regularly attend music concerts. If that’s the case, the noise might be loud enough that you can develop tinnitus after just a couple of concerts.
Issues that most people don’t realize will cause tinnitus include listening to music through headphones at a loud volume and the sound of a train passing by. This is why you should think about using ear protection in your everyday life.
It is possible that tinnitus develops as one of the signs of hearing loss. When you develop hearing loss, you will lose the ability to hear different pitches and frequencies. These can instead be replaced by the type of noise that is commonly associated with tinnitus. That said, it’s worth mentioning that tinnitus will not always be due to an issue with hearing loss. In fact, many audiologists believe that this is quite rare.
Finally, there are various other causes of tinnitus. This includes a waxy buildup in the ear. When wax builds up in the ear canal, it can actually harden and this causes it to block out sounds that you are trying to hear. It can also cause objective tinnitus which means that you will hear a noise inside your ear. Luckily, this can be treated simply by cleaning out the ears with warm water. Your audiologist can provide this treatment option for you.
Alternatively, tinnitus may also be caused by a neurological issue. It can be the sign of a larger issue and that’s why you should never ignore tinnitus. It always needs to be checked out, examined and explored.