Understanding Tinnitus and When to See a Doctor
Most of us rely on our sense of sound to navigate the world. But for many Americans, hearing loss can make it more difficult to interact. While one in four people in the United States aged 65 and older struggle with disabling hearing loss, that hearing loss may have begun as tinnitus. Let’s delve into what tinnitus is and when you need to see your ENT doctor or medical specialist.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a condition that causes ringing and other related noises in a person’s ears. Many times, the noise that a person hears is caused by an internal condition within the ears or elsewhere in the body. Additionally, no one else can hear the noises or ringing that you’re hearing.
While tinnitus is a common problem, it is also a nuisance. In addition to affecting a person’s ability to hear clearly, this condition can affect a person’s balance. Ear ringing also primarily affects older adults, with 15% to 20% of the older population suffering from this condition.
Once you have made it known that you are suffering from ringing in your ears, your doctor will as you a series of questions, take some tests, and offer a remedy. Most of the time, doctors can trace ear ringing to an underlying problem that is affecting a patient.
You’ll want to be as detailed as you can when describing the ear ringing you’re experiencing. You also want to let your ENT doctor or medical professional know when the ear ringing began. Were you swimming? Did you hurt your head? Are you experiencing pressure in your sinuses? Did you chew food and noticed that your ear ringing began quickly afterward? The more information you can provide to your doctor, the more effectively they can treat your tinnitus.
When a Person Has Tinnitus, What Are They Hearing?
While many people who suffer from tinnitus describe a ringing sound, there are other sounds that a person can hear that are equally as annoying and debilitating as incessant ringing. Many patients complain of hearing sounds that are similar to buzzing, roaring, ocean waves crashing on a rock, hissing, humming, and even clicking sounds. This may make it more difficult for a patient to understand what’s happening to them.
Since ENT doctors treat conditions of the mouth, nose, and ears, it’s vital that you describe the sounds you’re hearing in your ears with as much detail as you can. Believe it or not, different sounds in the ears may mean different conditions.
I Had Ringing in My Ears This Morning, But Then It Went Away. Do I Need a Doctor?
Oftentimes, ringing ears affect people who have just awakened from an evening of sleep. Then, a little while later, the noise in the ears is gone. If this has happened to you in just one instance, it may be a good idea to jot this down or document it. While you may be able to bypass a visit to your ENT doctor, it may be a good idea to see one if the ringing happens each morning or the noise in your ears sticks around.
A doctor will want to discuss the pattern of ear ringing or ear noise that you are having. Be sure to write down each time that the ear ringing occurs. If you find that you seem to have many instances during which you are experiencing ear noise, then it may be time to pay a visit to your doctor.
Why Do I Even Have Ringing In My Ears?
There may be a multitude of reasons that you have ringing in your ears. Were you taking a shower and accidentally hit the wall of your shower stall with your head? This may cause some ear ringing. You may also have some sort of blockage in your ears that could lead to some hearing issues. There are even certain medications that can aggravate and amplify ear ringing. Aspirin, for example, is known to cause ear ringing. Regardless of what is causing your ear ringing, you want to get to a doctor so that they can perform tests and remedy your tinnitus.
Your Plano, TX ear nose and throat doctor help treat that ear ringing that you have, along with sinus infections, throat issues, and more. As your experienced ENT in Plano, we offer comprehensive care for tinnitus. Make an appointment to come and see us today.