There are times when you hear sounds in your head; it can be some buzz, hiss, ringing, or whooshing. So, when you ask people around you, and they didn’t hear anything; you might think that some ghost is talking to you. Hollywood in you is coming to play. But that’s far from it – sorry for dashing your beautiful plot. The name of this is tinnitus or the head noise. It does sound strange, but tinnitus frequently happens; only that it doesn’t stay long. What are the causes of tinnitus?
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), almost 25 million Americans have experienced tinnitus, even lasting more than five minutes.
While it may go away smoothly for some people, some may require medical and surgical treatments. It might be as severe as even affecting their daily activities.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is something that buzzing, hissing, ringing, and whooshing, that seems to originate from your ear or head. It can arise from the brain, inner ear, middle ear, or outer ear. It is not by itself considered terrible but rather termed a symptom to more severe conditions. These harsh conditions include metabolic disorders, blood vessel disorders, otosclerosis, and tumour-related disorders.
Types of tinnitus
There are levels to the severity types that different people experience, and they are:
Subjective tinnitus: This is the commonest. You hear clear sounds in your head, which no one else can hear.
Clicking tinnitus: it is called clicking because it produces a clicking sound, one that matches the heartbeat. It is usually related to blood flow. Clicking tinnitus is caused by pregnancy, anaemia, and hypertension.
Objective tinnitus: This is the rarest type. The sound can be heard by a doctor, especially when s/he is listening for it.
Causes of tinnitus
The causes of tinnitus are different, but if you find out on time the cure is possible. As earlier stated, tinnitus by itself is not exactly dangerous. Further, it does not necessarily translate into the reasons listed below – they are, however, related.
Below you will see some common causes of tinnitus:
1. Hearing loss
The adequate hearing ability goes wrong when people get older, and that is why tinnitus is common in adults. In some cases, when you expose your ears to loud noises, these loud noises will damage the auditory nerves. Hearing loss makes the brain loses some specific sensory sounds; you can say tinnitus is its way of making up for those.
2. Blockages in ear
When something blocks the ear, the inner ear or the ear canal, tinnitus is also likely to appear. There is likeliness that these blockages touch the inner ear directly, and that will cause tinnitus. Sources of the blockages can be excessive ear wax, head congestion, loose hair from the ear canal, dirt, or foreign objects. If you remove the blockages, tinnitus will be gone; there are, however, some cases when it will not. The blockages must have caused permanent damage to the ear; the name of this is chronic tinnitus.
3. Head and neck injury
Injuries like Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) usually damage the brain’s auditory processing areas. It is known to be a major cause of tinnitus, especially in military and veteran populations. Other forms of severe injuries to the head and neck that impedes adequate blood flow and muscular functions always contribute to tinnitus.
4. Joint disorder
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is another major cause of tinnitus. Tinnitus caused by TMJ is usually as a result of the damage to the connective tissues at the point where the lower jaw connects to the brain. The characteristic sound in this situation is a regular popping sound, especially when the patient is chewing or talking. Often when the TMJ disorder is treated, the associated tinnitus is also eliminated.
5. Changes in air or water pressure
When there is a significant and rapid change in the air or water pressure, this will for sure affect the middle and inner ear. This is usually attributed to activities such as snorkelling and flying (especially during horrible weather).
6. Nasal congestion
Nasal congestion from cold and flu is another cause of tinnitus. It creates pressure in the middle ear, and that hinders normal hearing which leads to tinnitus
7. Toxic drugs
Tinnitus is a side-effect of ototoxic medications. These poisonous drugs are quinine-based medications, water pills and diuretics, cancer medications, and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). While other drugs cause temporary side-effects, ototoxic drugs, on the other hand, produce more permanent situations. Also, that is why it is advisable that before taking any medication, that you consult your pharmacist. When you care your tinnitus, you will realize it is not just about the ear. It is more of how you care for your body: your lifestyle choices. So the best way to manage it is by ensuring to take proper of your ear and other parts of your body.