Do you constantly hear a ringing, buzzing, or roaring noise, even when you know there's nothing nearby that is making the noise? Phantom noises like this are the hallmark symptom of a condition known as tinnitus. There are several common causes of tinnitus, and by figuring out which one is to blame for your condition, you can decide on the best steps to treat your tinnitus and finally enjoy some peace and quiet.
Age-Related Hearing Loss
In many people -- particularly retirement age adults -- tinnitus is one of the first signs of minor hearing loss. If you're finding that you have to ask people to repeat themselves or that you need to turn up the volume on the TV, chances are good that minor hearing loss is to blame for your condition. Your doctor can measure your hearing with some simple tests. Once the extent of your hearing loss is measured, hearing aids can be recommended to correct it. By amplifying the actual sounds around you, your hearing aids will help "camouflage" the ringing or buzzing you're hearing.
Note that modern hearing aids are smaller and less noticeable than those that you've likely seen on the outsides of people's ears. Most models now sit inside the ear canal and are not visible unless someone looks directly into your ear. You won't have to sacrifice your vanity to get rid of your tinnitus.
When you go in to your doctor to have your hearing ability measured, he or she might inform you that your issues are just due to an excess of earwax in the ear. Excess earwax can irritate the ear drum, leading to the ringing or buzzing noises that are bugging you. Your doctor can extract the ear wax, which should correct the problem. Don't attempt to remove the ear wax on your own. You could damage your ear drum by reaching that deeply into your ear.
High Blood Pressure
If your hearing is sufficient and you don't have excessive ear wax, your doctor will likely look into hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) as a possible cause of your tinnitus. High blood pressure can cause the tissues in your inner ear to become engorged with blood, which puts pressure on your ear drum and causes ringing or buzzing. Getting your high blood pressure under control with a combination of prescription medications, increased exercise, and a low-sodium diet will likely cause the tinnitus to subside. Your doctor will guide you in taking these steps to lower your blood pressure. Contact a hearing specialist, like Abingdon Falls Plaza Hearing Center, for more help.