Why is There Ringing in My Ear?

Almost everyone has had tinnitus for a short time after being exposed to extremely loud noise.
For example, attending a loud concert can trigger short-lived tinnitus.
However, When it lasts more than six months, it’s known as chronic tinnitus. As many as 50 to 60 million people in the United States suffer from this condition; it’s especially common in people over age 55 and is strongly associated with hearing loss.

Senior male having hearing problems, asking to speak louder

Why are my ears ringing?

Tinnitus is a sensorineural response within the auditory system and brain and is often a sign of hearing loss or damage to the ear. Damage generally occurs within the cochlea or hair cells that protect the ear. Sounds travel through the auditory nerve to reach the auditory cortex of the brain. When you hear ringing within the ear that means part of this system is not working correctly. The brain does not receive the sounds it expects, which stimulates the neurons to produce or imagine false sounds. Your body finds it difficult to differentiate between false and true noises.

Tinnitus Symptoms

Tinnitus 6 symptoms may include these types of phantom noises in your ears:

✔️ Ringing
✔️ Buzzing
✔️ Roaring
✔️ Clicking
✔️ Hissing
✔️ Humming

Common Causes of Tinnitus

In many people, tinnitus is caused by one of these conditions:

Age-related: Hearing worsens with age, usually starting around age 60.
Exposure to Loud Noise: This one is a common source of noise-related hearing loss. Wearing MP3 players or iPods to listen to music for a long period of time may cause noise-related hearing loss.
Earwax Blockage: When too much earwax blocks in your canal, it will lead to tinnitus.
Smoking: Smokers have a higher risk of developing tinnitus.

Prevention is Better Than Cure”

Ways to Prevent Tinnitus

Use Hearing Protection: Over time, exposure to loud sounds can damage the nerves in the ears, causing hearing loss and tinnitus. If you use chain saws, are a musician, work in an industry that uses loud machinery, or use firearms (especially pistols or shotguns), always wear over-the-ear hearing protection.
Turn Down the Volume: Long-term exposure to amplified music with no ear protection or listening to music at very high volume through headphones can cause hearing loss and tinnitus.
Take Care of Your Cardiovascular Health: Regular exercise, eating right, and taking other steps to keep your blood vessels healthy can help prevent tinnitus linked to blood vessel disorders.

Treatments for Tinnitus

Medical Treatments for Tinnitus

To treat your tinnitus, your doctor will first try to identify any underlying, treatable condition that may be associated with your symptoms.

Earwax Removal: Removing impacted earwax can decrease tinnitus symptoms.
White Noise Machines: These devices, which produce simulated environmental sounds such as falling rain or ocean waves, are often an effective treatment for tinnitus.
Hearing Aids: These can be especially helpful if you have hearing problems as well as tinnitus.

Source: Mayo Clinic, WebMD, HearingReview, Harvard University

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