At first, you weren’t worried about the buzzing noise in your ears. It was annoying, but you thought you might not be getting enough sleep, or were hearing construction in the distance. But now that the buzzing has become a persistent humming noise, you’re constantly distracted—and concerned—about the sound. Could it be a sign of something more serious?
Ringing, hissing, humming, or another constant noise in the ear is called tinnitus. While the main cause of the condition is hearing loss, there are many other injuries and illnesses that can cause tinnitus, including:
- Ménière’s disease. Tinnitus may be one of the early warning signs of Ménière’s disease, an inner ear disorder that develops when there is a buildup of fluid pressure in the inner ear.
- Hypertension. Any condition that affects blood flow can potentially create tinnitus symptoms, as the ears are more likely to detect the sounds of blood flow around the brain. High blood pressure, stress, anemia, high cholesterol level, and excessive alcohol and caffeine use can all lead to tinnitus.
- Diabetes. Many studies have linked high blood sugar to tinnitus symptoms. Reducing sugar intake can help maintain the fluid balance in the ears, so treating diabetes and tinnitus often go hand-in-hand.
- TMJ disorders. Patients who grind or clench their teeth may have problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the joint that connects your jawbone to your head at the ears. Headaches are common with TMJ pain, but the stress on the joint may also cause tinnitus.
- Acoustic neuroma. Patients who are experiencing tinnitus in only one ear may have developed a tumor on the cranial nerve called an acoustic neuroma. This tumor is non-cancerous, but it can interfere with the operation of the nerves responsible for carrying signals for balance and hearing between your brain and your inner ear.
- Otosclerosis. This hereditary condition often runs in families. It is caused by abnormal bone growth in the ears, and occurs when the bones in the middle ear harden, causing hearing problems.
We Can Discover What Is Causing Your Tinnitus in Our On-Site Testing Lab
No matter what is causing your tinnitus symptoms, we can help find a solution that works for your lifestyle and budget. Call Sound Advice Hearing Aid Centers toll-free at (888) 262-2613 to find out which of our many locations is nearest to you.