Have you ever felt ears like ringing? Some people often associate it with certain signs. When in fact the ringing of the ears is a medical condition known as tinnitus.
Tinnitus occurs when abnormal sounds are heard coming from the ear, and they sound like buzzing, whistling or machine noises. Ringing can quickly disappear by itself or last a long time. One in 100 people who experience tinnitus even feel this ringing really disturbs concentration, causing sleep problems to depression.
Tinnitus will be more clearly felt when you are in a place of silence, or when going to sleep. In addition, sufferers can be more sensitive to the volume that is actually normal for many people. This condition is called hyperacusis.
If the voice can only be heard by you, it means you have subjective tinnitus. This condition can be triggered by problems with the external, middle, or inner ear. In addition, problems with the auditory nerve or parts of the brain that translate sound signals can also trigger subjective tinnitus.
Meanwhile, if the voices can be heard by the doctor during the examination, it means you have objective tinnitus. This more rare type is triggered by blood vessel problems, the condition of the inner ear bones or muscle contractions.
The causes of tinnitus can be divided into two, mild causes and serious causes. The following is the explanation.
Minor causes, meaning that they are not caused by serious illness, including:
- Hear a very loud voice. In some cases, tinnitus can become permanent if the sufferer hears a loud noise for a long time.
- Side effects of drug use, such as aspirin, antibiotics, and quinine.
- Iron deficiency.
- Ear infection. If the infection is treated, then tinnitus can disappear.
- Lots of earwax, causing hearing loss or irritation to the eardrum.
- Anxious or stressed.
- Hearing loss along with aging, usually starts from the age of 60 years.
Serious causes, or caused by serious illnesses, include:
- There is a tumor in the head or neck, causing blood vessels in the head or neck to be depressed.
- High blood pressure.
- Atherosclerosis, the narrowing of the arteries of the ear due to cholesterol buildup. With aging and high cholesterol, the main blood vessels located near the middle and inner ear lose elasticity, so blood flow becomes stronger and more audible to the ear.
- Meniere’s disease, which is caused by pressure on the cochlea, a structure in the inner ear. This condition can cause dizziness or vertigo, loss of hearing, and
- Acoustic neuroma tumors, which are benign tumors that occur in the cranial nerves that travel from the brain to the inner ear.
What Action Is Required?
You can consult the condition of the ringing of the ears to the ENT doctor (ear, nose, throat). The doctor will do an ear examination using an otoscope to see the condition of the ear canal. In addition, a hearing test (audiometry) can be performed to detect hearing loss. Tools used include autoacoustic emissions (microphones inserted into the ear) for examination in children, and pure tone audiometry (using headphones) for examination in adults. On further tests CT scans can also be done on the brain.
The following steps can also be done to reduce ringing in the ears.
- Relaxation. Anxiety and stress will aggravate tinnitus. Think positive and do relaxation to reduce stress.
- Take antidepressants. If stress cannot be overcome by relaxation, you can take antidepressant medication as directed by your doctor.
- Avoid silence, because you will more clearly hear the buzz. It’s best to listen for quiet, pleasant sounds, at a low volume. This will help distract you. Do it also when going to sleep.
- Use hearing aids. If needed, your doctor will recommend you to use hearing aids. With this tool, normal sound will be heard more clearly and beat the sound of the buzz. This tool is intended for those who have hearing loss such as tinnitus, or even
If you experience ringing in your ears, check with an ENT doctor so that the cause can be known, treated and not gotten worse.