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Common causes and treatment options for Tinnitus: Finding Relief from Ringing in the Ears

For those who don’t suffer from ringing, buzzing or humming sensations, tinnitus is nothing but a passing thought. But for the millions of people worldwide who do experience this condition, tinnitus is all they can think about. Tinnitus is a persistent and distressing condition that can significantly impact quality of life. What are the common causes and treatments for tinnitus?

First, it’s important to understand that tinnitus is not a disease itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying condition. It can manifest in different forms such as ringing, buzzing, humming or even thunderous roaring sounds. Understanding the root cause of tinnitus is crucial for determining the most effective treatment approach.

Common causes of tinnitus include:

  • Noise-induced hearing loss. This could be due to occupational hazards, recreational activities or even one-time events like concerts that cause damage to the delicate inner ear structures.
  • Age-related hearing loss. As we age, our hearing naturally deteriorates due to cumulative damage over the years, leading to tinnitus.
  • Earwax buildup. Excessive earwax accumulation can obstruct the ear canal, causing irritation and tinnitus symptoms.
  • Medications. Some medications, including certain antibiotics, antidepressants and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can trigger or exacerbate tinnitus.
  • Other medical conditions. Certain medical conditions such as Meniere’s disease, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and cardiovascular issues can contribute to tinnitus.

Treatment options depend on the underlying cause of tinnitus, but may include:

  • Hearing aids. For those with hearing loss accompanying tinnitus, hearing aids can be beneficial in amplifying external sounds which can mask the tinnitus while improving overall hearing ability.
  • Sound therapy. Various sound-based therapies, such as white noise machines, masking devices or smartphone apps that play soothing sounds, can overpower the ringing or buzzing sensation, making it less noticeable.
  • Medications. While there’s no specific medication to cure tinnitus, certain drugs, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, can manage associated symptoms like anxiety or depression.
  • Earwax removal. If earwax buildup is identified as the cause of tinnitus, gentle removal of the excess wax by an ENT specialist can provide relief from symptoms.

If you notice persistent tinnitus symptoms, it’s time to seek evaluation and guidance from a qualified ENT specialist. Tinnitus can be a challenging condition to manage, but by understanding its causes and available treatment options, there is hope. Call Biltmore ENT at (602) 560-1085 to start your journey towards a quieter life.