If you are looking for the most common tinnitus causes, then you have come to the right place.  Tinnitus is a medical term that refers to a ringing noise that originates in the ear or head. The condition may also be described as a beeping, buzzing, hissing, humming, roaring, swishing or whistling sound. Usually, only the affected person can hear the noise as it does not originate from the outside environment but from within the ear. The noise may occur in the inner, middle or outer ear and one or both ears may be affected. In most cases, it is not a serious problem but can be quite a nuisance. The condition may disappear in some patients while for others medical or surgical intervention becomes necessary. Where treatment is possible, medical assistants in health facilities are usually responsible for explaining the course of treatment to patients. More than 35 million Americans suffer from tinnitus, which has several causes.

What Are Some Common Tinnitus Causes

In most cases, finding the exact cause of tinnitus is difficult and certain health conditions may aggravate the problem. Possible causes are outlined below.

  • Blood vessel disorders: head or neck tumors sometimes exercise pressure on blood vessels, which may cause tinnitus. In other cases, a buildup of cholesterol can cause the inner ear to lose elasticity, which makes it harder for the ear to detect the heartbeat and flex accordingly. Due to a more forceful and turbulent blood flow, tinnitus may develop in both ears. Malformations in blood capillaries and arteries can also create turbulent blood flow, leading to noises in the ear.
  • Ear disorders: these include ear infections, blocked ear canal or eustachian tube and ear bone changes. Bones in the middle ear may stiffen, which affects hearing, leading to tinnitus. Abnormal bone growth is a condition that tends to run in families.
  • Earwax: earwax traps dirt in the ear and hinders growth of bacteria. This helps to protect the ear canal. However, an accumulation of earwax makes it difficult to clear away naturally, which irritates the eardrum or causes hearing loss. Excessive earwax can result in noises in the ear.
  • Health conditions: in some cases, certain health conditions, especially those related to the brain can trigger tinnitus. A benign tumor may develop on the nerve that connects the brain to the inner ear. This affects balance and hearing, and may cause tinnitus in only one ear. Meniere’s disease, an inner ear disorder caused by abnormal fluid composition or pressure can also lead to noises in the ear. Other health conditions that may trigger tinnitus include anemia, hardening of arteries and hypertension.
  • Hearing loss: many elderly people suffer from age-related hearing loss. Nerve impairment may occur in the inner ears as people advance in age, usually from about 60 years. This results in chronic tinnitus.
  • Inner ear cell damage: the inner ear contains tiny delicate hairs that move according to pressure generated by sound waves. Ear cells are triggered to release an electrical signal to the brain, which is interpreted by the brain as sound. When the inner ear hairs are bent or broken, it results in leaking of random electrical impulses, which causes tinnitus.
  • Loud noises: excessively loud noises are a leading cause of hearing disorders. Repeated exposure to noises from firearms, high intensity music, loud machinery or equipment and other loud noises can damage the hearing mechanism. Trauma or injury associated with a blast or explosion can also lead to tinnitus. However, in cases where tinnitus is caused by short-term exposure, it usually disappears.
  • Medications: uncommonly high doses of aspirin, quinine medications used in the treatment of malaria, diuretics, certain cancer medications as well as certain antibiotics can cause tinnitus.

Although tinnitus doesn’t have a cure yet, a physician may be able to determine the causes of tinnitus symptoms in an individual after careful diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been made, it is easier to draw up a treatment plan. Various medications and dietary supplements are available on the market that offer relief for those affected. Before taking ay medications or supplements, always consult a medical assistant or medical professional to see what is right for you.

Sources:

How is Tinnitus Evaluated? (2012) MedicineNet.com

Tinnitus. (2012) emedicinehealth.

Tinnitus. (2012) Mayo Clinic.

Tinnitus. (2012) MedicineNet.com

Tinnitus Causes. (2012) emedicinehealth.

What Causes Tinnitus? Retrieved January 16, 2012. eHealthMD.

What is Tinnitus? Retrieved January 16, 2012. eHealthMD.

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