What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is defined as experiencing any sound in the head or ears that can’t be tied to any external source or stimulus. This sound can take many forms, including ringing, whistling, and hissing, but the sensation differs from person to person. Furthermore, it can be both constant and sporadic, and the frequency also varies based on the person. Tinnitus can be experienced in either a single ear of both ears. Most often, the person experiencing tinnitus is the only person who can hear the noise. But there are unique circumstances in which others might be able to listen to it too. People over the age of 50 are most likely to experience tinnitus, but it’s also common for children and teens to experience it at times, too.

The most important thing to know about tinnitus is that it is not fatal or dangerous in and of itself. In a limited number of cases, it may be indicative of a more significant problem. But it is typically a harmless condition. It’s even possible for someone with chronic tinnitus to live a perfectly normal life.

Still, there are certain cases where tinnitus can lead to more serious complications. Sleep problems, stress, anxiety, and even depression have been tied to severe tinnitus. In situations like this, treating your tinnitus becomes a much more serious matter compared to the majority of cases.

How Do You Get Tinnitus?

There are a few different sets of circumstances which can trigger tinnitus. The most common culprit of short term tinnitus is exposure to loud sounds, such as power tools or large speakers at a concert. Impacted earwax, middle ear problems, and aging are also known to lead to tinnitus symptoms.

Additionally, certain types of medication (i.e., antibiotics, some anti-cancer meds, and large doses of aspirin) are known to cause tinnitus. Caffeine, nicotine, and cardiovascular conditions that cause high blood pressure can also lead to this condition. Although some factors that cause tinnitus are beyond your control, there are others that you can minimize to reduce your chances of experiencing it.

Unfortunately, the exact cause of tinnitus can’t be pinpointed in most cases. The best you can do is to be aware of all of the factors and try to address those which you have control over, such as caffeine consumption and exposure to loud noises. By being proactive about trying to limited tinnitus-causing factors, you should hopefully notice a decrease in the activity of your tinnitus.