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What are the Common Causes of Tinnitus?

a woman experiencing ear discomfort

Tinnitus is often described as an unpleasant and constant high-pitched whine, ring or buzz in your ears. It’s a noise that only you can hear and is typically caused by changes related to your ears. Below, we’ve listed the most common causes of tinnitus to help you better understand this condition.

Exposure to loud noises

Long-term exposure to loud noise can lead to tinnitus due to how sensitive your inner ear is to changes. If your job or daily life involves exposure to loud noises, such as working in a club or as a musician, then it’s advisable to wear ear protection. There are common forms of ear protection available such as earplugs, but it’s also possible to ask an audiologist for custom ear protection options. These may cost a little more than standard earplugs, but they're made to fit the shape of your ear canal to provide the most comfort and protection from loud noises. Exposure to loud noises can often lead to hearing loss which is another common cause of tinnitus.

Impacted earwax

Impacted earwax is a severe buildup of wax inside of your ear. This is common in people that incorrect clean their ears, such as using cotton swabs that could end up pushing the earwax further into the ear canal. This causes a large buildup of wax that could end up damage the inner ear and causing blockages that lead to tinnitus. With help from an audiologist to clear the blockage, it’s possible to treat tinnitus. However, if the impacted earwax has been affecting your ear for a long time, then it could have caused long-term damage to the nerves in your inner ear due to how sensitive it is. It’s best to seek help from an audiologist to check your ears and ensure that you’re not at risk of impacted earwax due to the way you clean your ears.

Ear infections

An ear infection can cause changes in your inner ear that will directly affect the nerves and physical structure of your ear. This could potentially cause tinnitus if it’s not treated. Healing the infection could potentially stop the tinnitus from occurring unless it has done significant damage to the nerves in your ear. In this case, you may require other forms of relief to mask the tinnitus.

Physical injuries

A physical injury such as head trauma could potentially cause tinnitus. If you hear a loud ringing or buzzing in your ears after hurting your head, then it’s a likely possibility since it could have damaged or affected certain nerves in your ear. An injury to the neck may also cause tinnitus, so it’s important to speak to a medical professional as soon as the injury occurs to reduce the chances of a physical injury causing tinnitus.

If you’re experiencing tinnitus, then you know how the condition can impact your life. Speaking to a trained audiologist is one of the best ways to get assistance. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us to book an appointment with a trained audiologist that can help you seek relief and potentially cure your tinnitus.

To learn more about tinnitus and possible treatment methods, give Advantage Hearing & Audiology a call at one of our offices:

  • Greensboro: (336) 365-1680
  • Eden: (336) 539-2472