If you've recently noticed a ringing sound in your ears, you're undoubtedly wondering what may be causing it. This condition is commonly called tinnitus and has several different causes. However, tinnitus is a symptom of underlying conditions rather than a disease in its own right, so it's important to locate and treat the root cause in order to alleviate it. Following are just three of the many reasons why your ears may be ringing.
Ear Wax Buildup
One of the most common causes of tinnitus is ear wax buildup. This condition happens when your body produces more ear wax than it can properly process. You also may be more vulnerable if you listen to music using earphones. Sometimes, attempts to clear out the blockage yourself can result in pushing the wax further back into the ear canal, creating more blockage and risking the development of ear infections. Symptoms of ear wax blockage include:
- Significant loss of hearing in one or both ears
- An earache
- A feeling of pressure in one or both ears
Your audiologist can quickly and easily clear out any ear wax blockage you may be experiencing, and your hearing should return to normal immediately after the procedure is performed.
Some types of medications are also known to cause ringing in the ears. Culprits include common over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Certain types of antidepressants may also cause unexplained ringing in the ears as well as some medications prescribed for heart conditions, high blood pressure, or cancer. Try stopping the nonprescription medications listed above to see if the ringing stops, and if you suspect that a prescription medication may be part of the picture, contact the physician who prescribed it to see if an alternative prescription is available.
Menier's Disease affects the inner ear and causing ringing, balance disorders which may make you feel as if you are spinning, and fluctuating hearing loss. Unlike many other conditions that affect the hearing, Menier's Disease is more likely to start in younger people from between the ages of 20 and 50 rather than becoming more common as people age. It's also far more likely to occur in just one of your ears rather than both of them.
Keep in mind that nothing takes the place of a visit to a competent audiologist, so make an appointment as soon as possible to get to the bottom of that mysterious ringing in your ears. For more information, check with providers like Mark Montgomery MD FACS.