Do you hear constant buzzing, ringing or other sounds in your ears? You may have tinnitus, a condition that affects more than 45 million Americans, according to the American Tinnitus Association. Your Garland & Rowlett, TX, ENT, Dr. James Maddox, can help you manage this annoying condition.
Why do I have tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Loud Noise Exposure: Loud noises can damage the hair cells in your inner ear, causing tinnitus symptoms.
- Age: Aging can also damage hair cells and trigger tinnitus. Tinnitus can be an early sign of age-related hearing loss.
- Too Much Earwax: An earwax blockage may be responsible for tinnitus symptoms in some cases.
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ): TMJ affects the hinge joints in your jaw. In addition to pain and stiffness in the joints, tinnitus can also occur.
- Spasms: The strange sounds in your ear may happen if tiny muscles in your inner ear spasm.
- Changes in Your Middle Ear: Tinnitus can sometimes occur if the bones in your middle ear no longer vibrate. Vibrations pass sound waves from the middle to the inner ear. The problem can occur if you experience abnormal bone growth in your middle ear.
- Injuries: Injuries to your head or neck can damage your nerves or inner ear, causing tinnitus.
- Meniere's Disease: Tinnitus may be one of the first symptoms of Meniere's disease, which can cause ear pain and pressure, dizziness, vertigo and hearing loss in addition to tinnitus.
- Acoustic Neuroma: A non-cancerous tumor called an acoustic neuroma can also cause tinnitus. The tumor forms on the nerve that connects your brain to your inner ear.
- Medications: Tinnitus can be a side effect of certain medications, including some antibiotics or antidepresssants, cancer medications, drugs used to treat malaria, and high-doses of aspirin.
How can my Garland & Rowlett, TX ENT help me?
Treatment for tinnitus varies depending on the cause. If you have an earwax blockage, removing the wax offers an easy solution to your problem. Changing a medication can be helpful if your symptoms are a drug side effect, while monitoring, radiation therapy, or surgery may be helpful if you have an acoustic neuroma.
Your ENT may prescribe medications that will reduce your symptoms and recommend a few strategies that will make the sounds less annoying, such as using fans, white noise machines or hearing aids, or wearing a device that helps mask the sounds.
Has tinnitus affected the quality of your life? Call your Garland & Rowlett, TX, ENT, Dr. James Maddox, at (972) 272-5555 to schedule an appointment.