According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, approximately 15% of the American general public– over 50 million people – suffer from some form of tinnitus. Around 20 million Americans experience chronic tinnitus while 2 million people have extreme tinnitus cases. While there is not a proper cure for tinnitus, there are many ways to manage it. But the fundamental question that arises is, what are the causes of tinnitus? It is important to figure out some signs and symptoms of tinnitus so that one can take necessary precautions as early as possible.
Causes of Tinnitus
The most common cause of tinnitus, disclosed by ear specialists and surgeons, is an ear infection. The constant ringing or buzzing sounds in your ear can occur due to all three kinds of ear infections – outer, middle, and inner infections. Typically, you may suffer from tinnitus either due to a middle ear infection or an inner ear infection.
Middle ear infections, also known as otitis media, occur when the auditory tube – the tube that is starts from your middle ear leads all the way to the back of your throat – locks in a lot of germs. Middle ear infections are common among children rather than adults. When you hear ringing in your ear, you may also suffer from other symptoms simultaneously; those other symptoms include fever, ear pain, and vertigo.
On the other hand, an inner ear infection is caused when the ear parts responsible for hearing get inflamed or irritated, resulting in labyrinthitis – an ear condition that causes vertigo and dizziness. The most common reason behind an inner ear infection is a virus or trapping of bacteria inside of your ear. While middle ear infections are mild and generally go away within a week or two, inner ear infections last longer and may increase the chances of tinnitus.
Some other causes of tinnitus, besides middle and inner ear infections, are as follows:
Excessive Ear Wax
Even something as simple as ear wax can cause a life-altering health problem – tinnitus!
Excessive wax blocks the ear canal which causes your ears to ring constantly. Removing the ear wax yourself can be risky, and you must be extremely careful while cleaning your ear. If possible, go to a professional that can help remove the ear wax effectively.
As you grow old, you may begin to lose your hearing ability entirely. If you are constantly exposed to extremely loud noises for a long periods of time, you may also lose your hearing. All of this may cause tinnitus.
Blood Flow Variation
Usually, anemia or blood pressure (any illness that may cause changes in blood flow) may cause your ear to buzz. Changes in blood flow may cause a special type of tinnitus called pulsatile tinnitus.
If you experience any of these signs and symptoms of tinnitus, it is best to consult a health care professional for the treatment immediately.