The sounds of tinnitus may include a ringing in the ears, a buzzing in the ears or a roaring in the ears. Sometimes tinnitus sounds more like clicking. Sometimes the sounds of tinnitus seem very loud and sometimes they seem softer. The sounds may be constant or may come and go.
Sometimes tinnitus is caused by a medical problem like a tumor or a disorder of the blood vessels in the ears. High blood pressure also causes tinnitus in some people. Many times, though, doctors donít know what causes it and that makes it difficult to treat. People that suffer from prolonged tinnitus may have trouble sleeping, may develop trouble concentrating or have problems with their short-term memory, and may become irritable, anxious or depressed.
If tinnitus sounds difficult to treat, it is. Itís also difficult to prevent. Risk factors for developing tinnitus include being male, being Caucasian, suffering from some degree of hearing loss and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Thereís not much you can do about any of those things.
There is one important thing you can do to prevent tinnitus, however. One possible cause of the disorder is prolonged exposure to loud noise, so if your job or hobbies expose you to loud sounds, use ear protection. Minimize your exposure to excessively loud music or other similar sounds, too.
In rare cases, the sounds of tinnitus are caused by something like a tumor or disorder of the blood vessels in the ear. In these cases, surgery may be required.
Sometimes medications, including antibiotics and some cancer drugs, cause tinnitus. In those cases, your doctor may be able to prescribe a different drug for you that doesnít have that side effect.
High blood pressure causes tinnitus in some people and medication, diet and exercise can reduce your blood pressure and the tinnitus sounds.
In many cases, though, the cause of tinnitus is unknown and therefore cannot be treated directly. In these cases, doctors simply try to relieve the symptoms. White noise machines help cover up the sounds of tinnitus and provide relief for some people with the condition. Machines that play sounds like ocean waves or falling rain help some people, too.
Tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline, desipramine, imipramine and trimipramine sometimes relieve symptoms of tinnitus but doctors usually only prescribe them for the most severe cases due to the potential side effects. Common side effects of these drugs include things like drowsiness, blurred vision, difficulty urinating, increased heart rate, low blood pressure, nausea, weight gain, headaches and decreased sex drive.
If the treatment of tinnitus sounds difficult, thatís because it often is. Many people turn to alternative remedies since Western medicine sometimes is unable to offer much in the way of help.
If you have ringing or other noise in your ears that bothers you, see your doctor, especially if it doesnít respond to natural treatments like homeopathic remedies. Tell your doctor exactly what the tinnitus sounds like. If you develop sounds of tinnitus after a head injury or if you have other symptoms like difficulty walking or talking, see a doctor right away.
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