Tinnitus is not a disease in and of itself. It’s a symptom of something else. The American Tinnitus Association reports that there are over 200 different health disorders that can generate tinnitus as a symptom.
For most people tinnitus is related to the collapse of the hearing nerves and hearing loss. It is commonly seen with age related hearing loss called presbycusis and with noise induced hearing loss. Obstructions of the outer and middle ears can cause pressure to build up in the inner ear. This affects the function of the eardrum and at time the hearing nerves causing noises in the ears. This can include ear wax build up, head congestion and dirt or foreign objects in the ear canal. An injury to the head or neck can reduce the blood flow to ears or put stress in the cervical disks causing the perception of tinnitus. Tinnitus can be caused by dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is where the lower jaw connects to the skull in front of the ears. The TMJ shares some of its muscles and ligaments with the ears, stress on these muscle and ligaments can impact the ears. Sinus pressure or barometric pressure changes such as seen with scuba diving, flying and concussive explosive blast can cause ringing. Other causes include traumatic brain injury, ototoxtic drugs often used in chemotherapy, diseases of the ears, even a brain tumor. Tinnitus has also been related to hypothyroidism, anemia, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and stress.
The best first step in the diagnosis and treatment of tinnitus is to have a hearing and tinnitus evaluation. At advanced Audiology Concepts we use a Progressive Tinnitus Management strategy to see that you receive the appropriate care and intervention.
Life sounds great! Enjoy every moment!
Jane Kukula, AuD & Ashley Spisak, AuD
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060