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HEALTH ADVICE

That Ringing In Your Ears Is Tinnitus

John Gray

We all have experienced ringing in the ears at one time or another in our life.  For some, this ringing does not go away.  This common problem is called tinnitus and affects about 1 in 5 people. The ringing can vary between a ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking or hissing sound.  It can occur in one or both ears, keep time with your heartbeat or be constant and it may come and go.  Tinnitus is not a condition itself.  Rather it is a symptom of an underlying condition or cause. 

What Causes Tinnitus?

Your inner ear contains over 15,000 tiny hair cells. Over time these sensory hair cells become damaged and you begin to hear a ringing and experience hearing loss. This usually happens after decades of being exposed to loud noise. However, hearing loss can also happen more quickly. For example, it only takes 15 minutes to permanently damage your hearing if you listened to through ordinary headphones at maximum volume. Even normal household items cause hearing loss, like a hair dryer, vacuum or the kitchen blender. So wear ear plugs when you blend my shake! :-)

Tinnitus and hearing loss can also occur through ear infections or injuries to an ear or head, especially concussions. Allergies can also be a cause for hearing loss and the simply obvious, but often overlooked, ear wax build up.

Tinnitus and hearing loss can also be a side effect from medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, birth control pills, some antibiotics, and some antidepressants.

Even worse, Tinnitus can also be a symptom of a more serious illness such as multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, diabetes, thyroid disorders, blood vessel disorders, or tumors. 



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