What Causes Tinnitus?

Tinnitus, often described as “ringing in the ears”, is the perception of sound when none exists. Most commonly, it is a ringing sound, but can vary: customers also report sounds of roaring, buzzing, whooshing, static, chirping, and many others. Tinnitus may come and go throughout the day, or it may persist constantly. In addition, many customers report experiencing exacerbated symptoms at night, when everything else to provide noise in the background has quieted down.

We’re always interested in hearing from customers, and encourage people to contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns that arise. One of the most common questions that we receive involves tinnitus itself – what exactly is the cause of the ringing sound that our customers are hearing in their ears? What causes tinnitus?

The American Tinnitus Association, or the ATA, has identified several likely sources. All of these sources are known to trigger or otherwise worsen tinnitus. They are the following:

  • Exposure to loud noise – Exposure to loud noise can damage or destroy hair cells, called cilia, in the inner ear. Once damaged, these hair cells cannot be renewed or replaced.
  • Wax build-up
  • Head & neck trauma – Physical trauma to the head and neck can induce tinnitus. Other symptoms may include headaches, vertigo, and memory loss.
  • Certain medical disorders – Hypo- or hyperthyroidism, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, thoracic outlet syndrome, among others, can have tinnitus as a symptom. When tinnitus is a symptom of another disorder, treating the disorder can help alleviate the tinnitus.
  • Jaw misalignment – The abbreviation “TMJ” is often incorrectly used to classify Temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Jaw or mouth issues can sometimes cause or worsen tinnitus.
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Ototoxicity – Some medicines are ototoxic, that is, toxic to the ear. These toxic effects, which can depend on the dosage of the medication, can be temporary or permanent.
  • Pulsatile tinnitus – Rare type of tinnitus that sounds like a rhythmic pulsing in the ear, typically in time with one’s heartbeat. Click here for more information about this type of tinnitus.
  • This list is not exclusive, as the exactly what causes tinnitus has not been narrowed to a sole identifier. Furthermore, everyone’s cause and experience with tinnitus is a different, making a causational diagnosis difficult.

    Tinnitus can be extremely tough to deal with, especially if it is constant and loud. It can severely affect the quality of life of those who are suffering from it, and if you’re struggling with tinnitus, Ring Relief may be able to help. Click here to learn more.