Noisy ears? It could be Tinnitus

Do you suffer from frequent ringing, hissing, buzzing, whistling, roaring or chirping in your ears? It could be a sign that you have Tinnitus.

Posted Monday May 6, 2024

Tinnitus symptoms vary, but universally it’s a sensation of a prolonged noise that you ‘hear’ in your ears. Most people describe it as ringing in the ears, though others describe it as hissing, buzzing, whistling, roaring or chirping. For some, tinnitus is infrequent or temporary, so not that bad, noticeable mostly when their surroundings are still and quiet. For others, the noise is severe and constant, seemingly impossible to ignore, and profoundly affects their quality of life. Up to 90% of people with tinnitus also have noise-induced hearing loss.

Scientists and health experts don't know the exact physical cause of tinnitus, but several sources are known to trigger or make tinnitus worse, including:

  • Loud noises and hearing loss: Exposure to loud noises is the biggest cause of tinnitus. It can destroy the non-regenerative cilia (tiny hairs) in the cochlea, causing permanent tinnitus and hearing loss.
  • Ageing: Cilia gradually deteriorate as you age, which can lead to tinnitus and hearing loss.
  • Ototoxic medications: Some prescription medications, such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and antidepressants, are harmful to the inner ear as well as the nerve fibres connecting the cochlea to the brain.
  • Hearing disorders: Conditions such as otosclerosis and Ménière’s disease are known to cause tinnitus.
  • Health conditions: Tinnitus can also be a symptom of health conditions like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stress and head injuries.

If you think you're suffering from Tinnitus, check in with your local Audiology South team who can support you to reduce the symptoms.



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