A person with tinnitus often hears ringing in the ears, this can be temporary, or it can be chronic and persistent. Tinnitus can manifest several different perceptions of sound, including buzzing, hissing, whistling, and clicking.
Tinnitus affects about 1 in 5 people and according to the American Tinnitus Association, nearly 50 million Americans experience ringing in their ears. However, it can be either a temporary condition or an ongoing health issue.
Tinnitus isn’t a condition itself – it’s a symptom of an underlying condition. The causes of tinnitus may vary, but the most common cause of tinnitus is prolonged exposure to noise.
The following factors are known to be involved in the development of tinnitus:
1. Hearing loss
Tinnitus often occurs along with some degree of hearing loss. But around one in every three people with tinnitus does not have any problem with their hearing.
2. Exposure to loud noise
Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. A single incident experienced at close range may permanently damage your hearing in an instant. Repeated exposures to loud noise over an extended period of time present serious risks to hearing.
3. Injury to the ears or head
More than one in ten suffering chronic tinnitus the problem stems from a neck or head injury.
4. Ear infection
An ear infection can cause blockage of hearing, resulting in the possible occurrence of tinnitus.
5. Disease of the ear
There are several diseases of the ear that can occur in a healthy person, all of which can cause hearing loss and make the occurrence of tinnitus more likely.
6. The side effect of a medication
Certain medications, both prescription and over the counter, can cause tinnitus.
7. Emotional stress
How you manage your tinnitus may have a connection with the level of stress you are under. If you have a high level of stress there is a greater chance that you will be troubled by your tinnitus.
There is currently no scientifically-validated cure for most types of tinnitus. There are, however, treatment options that can ease the perceived burden of tinnitus, allowing individuals to live more comfortable, productive lives.