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What Causes Tinnitus?

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a patient with tinnitus is having her ears checked

Tinnitus is one of the most common hearing problems that people experience. Tinnitus is not a condition but a symptom of other underlying hearing problems. These underlying problems are often ear injury, a damaged circulatory system or hearing loss related to aging. Tinnitus can get worse with age but treating the underlying causes will help.

What causes tinnitus?

There are several factors that can cause tinnitus. As mentioned before, one of the main factors that affect hearing is age. This means that you may experience an onset of tinnitus as you get into your senior years. Loud noises are also one of the major culprits of tinnitus. Music devices and ear pods are some of the main sources of loud noise and can damage hearing. 

However, activities that you do at work can also lead to tinnitus. Loud noises that come from heavy equipment, firearms and even chain saws are common workplace noises that can cause tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be caused by short term exposure to loud noises. This may happen when you go to a concert or a party. This type of exposure when it leads to tinnitus will go away eventually.

Tinnitus may also be caused by earwax build up in the ear canal. This can cause the eardrums to become irritated and lead to tinnitus.

Other causes of tinnitus

Sometimes tinnitus is not caused by loud noises or wax but more severe issues. Tinnitus can be caused by Meniere’s disease. Meniere’s disease occurs when there is too much fluid pressure in the inner ear. If you experience neck or head injuries these can affect your hearing as well and cause tinnitus. 

Your head or neck may be injured in such a way that hearing nerves are damaged. If any part of your brain that assists with hearing function gets damaged, you can experience tinnitus. TMJ disorders are another culprit. This joint is located on each side of your head right in front of your ears. Its exact position is the area where your lower jaw bone and your skull meets. Problems in this area can irritate the sensitive ear canal and may cause tinnitus.

How to prevent tinnitus?

The best way to prevent tinnitus is to wear over the ear protection if you work in noisy environments. Turn down the volume of the music you are listening to especially when you wear earphones. If there is wax build-up ask your audiologist the safest way to remove it. There are over the counter solutions available but always check with a professional before doing anything to remove earwax.

Take care of your hearing

Your hearing should be protected. The key to preventing tinnitus is simply taking care of your hearing by reducing your exposure to loud noises and consulting with an audiologist if you notice that you are experiencing problems. 

The sooner you identify and deal with problems the less likely it is that you will experience any kind of permanent hearing loss.


 

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