Common Questions About Tinnitus

Tinnitus FAQs

Tinnitus, often described as a persistent ringing in the ears, is a fairly common occurrence affecting a large number of Americans. However, it is a complex topic with a number of possible underlying causes, ways it presents to patients and possible treatment options. Miracle-Ear tackles some of the questions we receive most often about tinnitus. 

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the sensation of perceiving sounds that have no external source, physically hearing sounds that aren’t there. Many individuals describe their tinnitus as sounding like a ringing at a specific frequency..

How common is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is quite common, affecting almost 15% of adults. That means over 30,000,000 adults in the U.S. could be living with tinnitus right now. 

What is the cause of tinnitus?

Tinnitus is not a condition in and of itself. Rather, tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying condition. There are a number of conditions that can cause tinnitus, so it’s important to consult a medical professional if you believe you are experiencing tinnitus. You can start with your GP or book an appointment with a Miracle-Ear hearing specialist. 

Does tinnitus go away?

Most people experience tinnitus briefly at some point in their lives, usually after a prolonged exposure to a noisy environment or following a sudden, extremely loud sound. However, some individuals experience persistent tinnitus that does not dissipate in a matter of hours or days. 

What does tinnitus sound like?

Common sounds people hear include ringing, roaring, humming and buzzing. The kind of sound people experience changes from person to person. 

Do I have tinnitus?

There’s no way to tell if you do have tinnitus without an assessment from a trained medical professional. With over 1,500 locations nationwide, it is likely that there is a Miracle-Ear near you that can help. Find your closest Miracle-Ear location today, and book an appointment if you think you may be experiencing tinnitus.  

What is pulsatile tinnitus?

Pulsatile tinnitus a type of tinnitus closely connected to the blood vessels. High blood pressure can make symptoms of this type of tinnitus more noticeable. Food choices, along with regular exercise, can help to lower blood pressure and the severity of pulsatile tinnitus symptoms.

What does pulsatile tinnitus sound like?

Pulsatile tinnitus can often sound like a thumping or whooshing sound. Since it is related to the blood vessels, it follows a regular rhythm that is connected to the pulsing of blood through your system. 

What is somatic tinnitus?

Somatic tinnitus is a type of tinnitus that is related to a function of the body outside sensory or neurological functions. It can be caused by a number of different factors, including muscle spasms, physical movement or even dental problems among others. 

Is there a cure for tinnitus?

There is no cure for tinnitus at this time. However, there are a number of tinnitus treatment options that can minimize the effects of tinnitus on your daily life. 

What makes tinnitus worse?

The experience of tinnitus is unique to each individual, so something you find bothersome may not even be noticeable to someone else with tinnitus symptoms. Some commonly reported factors that can make the symptoms more noticeable include the following:

How is tinnitus treated?

There are a number of different treatment options for tinnitus available to help people lessen the impact of tinnitus symptoms on their lives. Options for treating tinnitus symptoms include using hearing aids, noise suppression with tools such as white noise machines or masking devices, sometimes the use of medication and more.  

Do hearing aids help with tinnitus?

Yes, a number of Miracle-Ear hearing aid models include technology that helps to treat tinnitus like white noise generation or notch therapy functions. 

Can ear wax cause tinnitus?

Yes, ear wax blockage can be the cause of some types of tinnitus. A Miracle-Ear specialist will be able to help determine if ear wax is a factor in your tinnitus and provide you with treatment options. 

Can high blood pressure cause tinnitus?

A specific kind of tinnitus―pulsatile tinnitus―is closely connected to the blood vessels. High blood pressure can make symptoms of this type of tinnitus more noticeable.

Can aspirin cause tinnitus?

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are known ototoxic medications. NSAIDs include pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. When taken in high doses or over long periods of time, these medications may cause temporary hearing loss and tinnitus.

Can stress cause ringing in the ears?

Though the underlying cause of tinnitus varies from person to person, stress is often an exacerbating factor that makes the tinnitus more noticeable. Stress is generally not the source of tinnitus, but reducing stress can often help alleviate the symptoms you experience. 

Can tinnitus cause vertigo?

Though it is unlikely that tinnitus is directly causing your vertigo, Meniere’s disease is a chronic inner ear condition that includes both vertigo and tinnitus among its possible symptoms. If you experience vertigo, tinnitus or a combination of the two, speak to your doctor about what could be causing your symptoms. 

Can tinnitus cause headaches?

There is currently no scientific consensus on why headaches and tinnitus can sometimes occur simultaneously, so there is no clear way to say whether one of those medical conditions is the source of the other. We do know, however, that there are a number of headache disorders which can present simultaneously with tinnitus symptoms. If you experience tinnitus, headaches or both simultaneously, speak to you doctor about what could be causing the problems. 

Does everyone have tinnitus?

Most people will experience temporary tinnitus symptoms at some point in their lives. Persistent, chronic tinnitus is a bit rarer, though still quite common. Lasting tinnitus symptoms affect around 15% of the adult population. 

We hope you’ve found this information helpful, and we are happy to help provide clarity around this often confusing topic. Stay on top of your well-being with more information on hearing loss, overall hearing health and more from Miracle-Ear. 

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