Causes of Tinnitus and Treatment Options


A young man squints his eyes while holding his ear in reaction to his tinnitus

Tinnitus is a common issue affecting more than 30 million people in the US. If left untreated, tinnitus can severely affect your daily life as you might have difficulty concentrating and sleeping. It can also affect personal relationships and work.

At Oliveira Audiology & Hearing Center, we offer the best hearing care, as we understand the need for reliable and quality hearing. This article shares some insights on tinnitus, its causes, symptoms, treatment options, and where to get treatment in Laredo, Texas.

Tinnitus Symptoms

Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing sounds in the ears. These ringing sounds can be buzzing, clicking, roaring, humming, whistling, or hissing that no one else hears. These sounds vary, as they can be loud or soft, low or high pitch, and can be heard in one or both ears. Tinnitus can be random or continuous and is often worse when the background noise is low.

Common Causes of Tinnitus

While tinnitus can be associated with hearing loss, it does not cause the loss and vice versa; the hearing loss does not cause tinnitus. It is not a disease but a reaction in the brain to changes in the ear. Tinnitus may also be a symptom of a problem with the audiometry system, such as infections and disorders. Tinnitus is caused by various factors such as:

  • Blockage in the ear due to wax build-up or ear infection
  • Prolong exposure to loud sounds
  • Age-related hearing changes – Aging causes changes in the cochlea and other ear parts.
  • Muscle spasm in the inner ear
  • Certain medications – Tinnitus is a potential side effect of various prescriptions such as aspirin and antibiotics.
  • Head or neck injuries causing trauma might affect the inner ear.
  • Meniere’s disease is a disorder that affects the inner part of the ear
  • Neck and jaw problems such as inflammations or irritations of muscles

Tinnitus Risk Factors

Anyone can get tinnitus; however, some individuals have higher risks of experiencing tinnitus than others. Some tinnitus risk factors include:

  • Lifestyle choices – People who smoke and drink alcohol are at a higher risk of tinnitus.
  • Gender – Men are more likely to get tinnitus than women.
  • Age – The elderly, especially those aged 60 years and above, are at great risk of tinnitus.
  • Medical conditions – People with chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are likely to get tinnitus.
  • Loud noise exposure – Individuals often exposed to loud noise, such as music, construction, and heavy industry, are at high risk of tinnitus.

How Healthcare Providers Treat Tinnitus

You must see your healthcare provider when experiencing tinnitus symptoms to prevent it from worsening to other major conditions such as depression, anxiety, and stress. Tinnitus has no cure; however, your audiologist can treat the underlying conditions causing the tinnitus to manage it. Here are some of the steps your audiologist might take to evaluate your tinnitus:

  • Physical examinations involve checking your ears for any problem.
  • Inquiring about your medical history – Your doctor might ask about your medication and whether any other family member has a hearing loss issue.
  • Perform a hearing test to check your ability to hear varying sounds.
  • Perform tympanometry to check the condition of your ear drum.

After tinnitus evaluation, your audiologist offers treatment depending on the underlying issue causing tinnitus. For instance, if a medication is causing tinnitus, your doctor might suggest you stop taking the drug or propose a different medicine. Likewise, the doctor removes the wax if it is caused by too much wax.

Your audiologist might suggest other treatment options, such as hearing aids, sound maskers, relaxation techniques, and retraining therapy. All these treatment options might be used to suppress tinnitus symptoms.

At Oliveira Audiology and Hearing Center, we use advanced treatment options such as white noise machines, custom hearing aids, and electronic masking devices to provide comfort and relief from tinnitus.

Tinnitus Evaluation & Treatment in Laredo, TX

Tinnitus might not go away completely, but you can always see an audiologist to manage it. At Oliveira Audiology & Hearing Center, we take our time to evaluate tinnitus in a customized and professional manner. We also provide excellent customer service and customized tinnitus treatment that fits your needs. Contact us in Laredo, Texas, to schedule your appointment.

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Masks encouraged for patients.