What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is what you may commonly have heard referred to as ringing in the ears. Although not all sufferers of tinnitus experience ringing in the ears, they do hear a noise in their head that is not present outside. A lot of times what you hear is a high or low pitched ringing but you may also hear swishing noises, buzzing noises, scratching noises among others. There are a number of causes of tinnitus and no cure, but there are things you can do to prevent tinnitus.

What is tinnitus?

For most sufferers of tinnitus, old age is the culprit. People over the age of 65 have a much higher risk of getting tinnitus due to age related hearing loss.  Another reason that older people tend to get tinnitus is because high blood pressure can cause ringing in the ears, although, many people under the age of 65 suffer from high blood pressure as well. While there is not much you can do about getting older, you can make sure that you exercise regularly to keep your blood circulation healthy. Because clogged arteries caused by high cholesterol can also cause tinnitus, taking care of your heart and circulation can help to prevent tinnitus due to age related illnesses.

For younger tinnitus sufferers, earwax buildup could be the cause. Earwax can build up around your ear canal and cause your ears to ring or swish. Proper hygiene can help to prevent this type of tinnitus; however, using Q-tips to clean your ears can also cause damage to your eardrums leading to tinnitus. You should never stick objects deep into your ear canal. You run the risk of accidentally damaging your eardrum which could be permanent and result in hearing loss. It’s best to use soap and water. You can use Q-tips to clean the inside of your ear, but do not stick it inside your ear hole.  

Even though tinnitus is not a life threatening illness, it can be a symptom to a worse problem. Tumors inside the ear or brain can cause tinnitus. That’s why it is important to talk to your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms of tinnitus. It’s likely something simple, like earwax buildup or medications that you are on, like antibiotics or diuretics that also cause tinnitus.

But just to be on the safe side, your doctor may order an MRI to rule out tumors.  

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