What is Tinnitus?

Noises perceived to be originating in the ears or head are called “tinnitus.”  Tinnitus may sound like:

  • Ringing
  • Whistling
  • Buzzing    
  • Roaring
  • Clicking
  • Chirping
  • Static
  • Pulsing
  • Fluttering 
  • Hissing
  • Popping

Causes of Tinnitus

  • Hearing Loss
  • High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease or other Circulatory problems
  • Central Nervous System problems, including:
    • Stroke / Cerebrovascular Accident
    • Head Trauma
    • Seizure Disorders
    • Neurological Diseases
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) problems
  • Exposure to Loud Noise
  • Ototoxic reactions or side effects from medication, drugs or other chemicals
  • Kidney Disease
  • Metabolic Diseases, such as Diabetes
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Ear Infection
  • Acoustic Neuroma - Tumors affecting the hearing or balance nerves
  • Cochlear Fistula - A hole or weak spot in the inner ear

 

What can I do about my tinnitus?

  • Avoiding overly quiet places will help make your tinnitus less noticeable.
           Use amplification if a hearing loss is present.
           Play music or other pleasant sounds, or leave a TV playing softly in the background.
           Listen to a radio tuned to no station, so you can hear soft static noise. 
           Leave a fan running in the background.
           Use a Tinnitus Masker instrument.
  • Consult your otolaryngologist to find out if there is a medical treatment for whatever is causing your tinnitus.
  • Use hearing protection and avoid loud noises, such as power tools, machinery and noisy appliances, loud motors, or gunfire.  Also avoid loud music.
  • Avoid cholesterol, salt, caffeine, alcohol and other unhealthy foods and beverages.
  • Keep your blood pressure under control.
  • Avoid ototoxins, such a chemicals or medications that might be harmful to your hearing.
  • Consult your dentist if you have a clicking or popping noise or pain when you open and close your mouth.  This could be a sign of a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problem.