What actually is tinnitus? It is the buzzing, hissing or ringing in one ear or both ears when there is actually no external sound around. But do you know the causes of ringing in ears? If not, then read on to know more about these causes, which can bring about such misery to your life, interfering with your work and sleep as well as your social life.
If you are thinking that tinnitus is a disease which has to be cured, you are wrong. Ringing in the ears is not a disease. It is the side effect of other infections and damages caused to your body. Hyperacusis and tinnitus sometimes occur together.
What are the causes of ringing in ears?
When a person hears a loud sound like when a cracker bursts, he may hear a buzzing sound or a ringing sound which continues for a few minutes or few hours. But sometimes, after a year or two, this ringing sound may come back as a persistent, constant ringing in ears. This ringing can be so severe that at times people may face many problems in their daily life.
Fortunately, many a times, the ringing sound is mild. In fact, it is quite common as an occasional nuisance and will clear off quite fast. As discussed earlier, the sound is a side effect of some other physical or psychological health problem, and is not a disease. Once the health problem heals, so will the ringing in the ears.
Causes of ringing in ears include:
A condition which comprises dizziness, deafness and tinnitus is called Meniere’s disease. This disease is a cause of ringing in ears. Vitamin B deficiency is sometimes seen in people with this disease.
- Distress to the ear due to blasts and other loud noises can cause this condition. Even constantly listening to loud music can contribute to the ringing ears.
- Another cause is a condition where the small bones of the middle ear which transmit sound become immobile and stiff. This condition is known as Otosclerosis. One of the first signs of this condition is the constant ringing in the ears sound.
- Inflammation and infections in ears can also cause this sound.
- Wax in the ears blocking the ear canals, is also a cause of this condition.
- An ear infection in children known as ‘glue ear’ is another cause of ringing in ears.
- A tumor in acoustic neuroma also causes this ringing. This tumor goes from the ear to the brain.
- A high dose of drugs like quinine, aspirin and some other antibiotics have been known to cause it too.
- Hypothyroidism is another cause of this condition.
- Disorders or abnormalities of the blood vessels in the brain can cause ringing in the ears.
- High B.P is a common cause of this sound.
- Hearing loss due to aging can bring about tinnitus.
- Lastly, anxiety and stress also cause this condition.
Diabetes and food allergies can also be causes of ringing in the ears. Antibiotics, antidepressants, anti-inflammatory medicines, aspirin and sedatives also cause this condition.
The intensity of ringing in the ears is increased due to noisy environments, colds, flu and allergic flare ups. Other causes are excessive intake of salt, artificial sweeteners, sugar, tobacco, alcohol and caffeine.
Some of the diseases that cause this condition may be fatal in nature. Therefore, ringing in the ears can be a blessing in disguise. It helps people detect such diseases in their early stages.
In many cases, people suffering from tinnitus are unable to find out the root cause of the condition. This mistake prolongs the condition.
If the cause of the ringing in ears is known as early as possible, the treatment to get rid of this unwanted sound can be started sooner.