You’ve probably experienced it after attending a music concert. That low, persistent, and annoying buzz in your ears that you usually notice upon leaving the concert venue when the volume level around you returns to normal. In most cases, the ringing is gone in a day or so and your hearing comes back in full. This ringing in the ears is called tinnitus. And for some people, it’s a constant presence.
But what causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be either objective or subjective. Objective tinnitus is when a doctor can actually hear the sounds emanating from someone’s ears. Subjective tinnitus is when only the patient can hear the noise. Here are just a few of the possible causes of each kind:
- Muscle spasms in the middle ear that make clicking or cracking sounds
- Altered or increased blood flow near the ear
- Carotid artery aneurysm
- Carotid artery dissection
- Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
- Otologic and hearing loss disorders (which can be caused by a number of things, including ear infections, impacted earwax, and loud noise or music)
- Some medications, like aspirin, NSAID’s, antibiotics, chemotherapy and antiviral drugs, and loop diuretics
- Neurological disorders, like multiple sclerosis
- Head injuries (skull fracture, whiplash)
- Metabolic disorders
- Psychiatric disorders
- Lyme disease
In order to treat tinnitus, the cause must first be determined. But as a precaution against developing tinnitus, it is recommended that you wear ear plugs when attending loud music concerts or if you work with heavy machinery in a loud environment so as to lessen the impact on your hearing. Hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noises or music can be permanent.
Do you have tinnitus? How do you cope? Share with us below.