Tinnitus is the subjective ringing or buzzing you experience in your ears that others can’t hear, and millions of people in the United States deal with. One in every 10 Americans suffer from this condition, and it is especially common among veterans. It’s often linked to other conditions such as age related hearing loss, ear injury, or issues with your circulatory system. While buzzing and ringing are common, people may experience different symptoms, and some people even deal with tinnitus spikes. To manage this condition, we need to understand what causes it, what symptoms to look for, and how to get it treated.
Residents of Lake Oswego, Oregon dealing with tinnitus can get relief by Dr. Caroline Yang and the extensive team of doctors at Lake Grove ENT. We are dedicated to finding innovative, state of the art methods of helping our patients with our combined eight decades of experience helping people with the ear, nose, and throat needs.
Hearing loss is the common culprit for tinnitus, but it isn’t just a result of getting older. Your cochlea (inner ear) has delicate hair cells that respond to sound waves, which carry an electrical signal from your ear to your brain through your auditory nerve. Damage to these hairs (getting bent or broken) can leak random electrical impulses, resulting in the buzzing and ringing connected with tinnitus.
Routine exposure to loud sounds, which you may experience from a concert, at a construction site, or numerous other sources can lead to tinnitus, along with ear infection, ear canal blockage, head or neck injuries, and various medications.
Aside from buzzing and ringing, you may also experience other phantom noises, such as roaring, clicking, hissing, and humming. The pitch of the noises can vary from low roar to high squeal, and you may hear it in one or both ears. You may deal with tinnitus all the time or sporadically, and it may become severe enough to interfere with your ability to hear other external noises.
Rarely, people suffer from pulsatile tinnitus, which happens with a whooshing or rhythmic pulsing, often in sync with the heartbeat. We may actually be able to hear this form of this condition when we examine you.
Treatment for this condition is linked with the underlying cause, and can be managed in a number of different ways:
Research is currently underway to test the success of other treatments like deep brain stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS.
Tinnitus is common, but it doesn’t have to affect your everyday life. If you're looking for relief from the ringing and buzzing, make an appointment with Dr. Yang and our team at Lake Grove ENT today.