Last Updated on January 26, 2024 by Asfa Rasheed
Do you ever hear a slight buzzing or ringing sound and you can’t quite identify what it is? If so, you may be one of the millions of people who live with tinnitus. While there is no medical cure for this common hearing issue, there are ways that you can work to reduce your tinnitus symptoms so you hardly notice that buzzing noise. Many people also take tinnitus health supplements, such as Tinnitus 911, to help them better manage their tinnitus symptoms and improve their overall hearing health.
But what is tinnitus, exactly? And what does it sound like? Here, we’re taking a closer look at this common hearing problem and answering these questions and more. If you believe you or a loved one is living with tinnitus, don’t wait. Contact your doctor or audiologist for a thorough hearing exam so you can identify the most effective path toward treatment so you can finally regain control of your hearing health.
Table of Contents
What is Tinnitus?
We’ve all probably heard this word at one point, but do you know what it really means? According to the renowned Mayo Clinic, tinnitus is a common (in fact, millions of people have this issue) hearing problem that occurs when someone hears a minor buzzing or ringing noise in one or both of their ears. But the issue really lies in the fact that there are actually no external stimuli causing this sound they hear. Since no one else can hear the tinnitus, this fact makes this hearing problem a particularly frustrating issue for someone to live with day in and day out. Some tinnitus may be temporary while some might occur daily.
For an example that many of us have experienced, consider this: think about the last time you went to a live music show. Were your ears ringing for a little bit after you left? If so, you experienced a mild and temporary form of tinnitus. However, for many individuals, especially older ones, tinnitus proves to be permanent. This problem is also very common. Studies estimate that about 15 to 20 percent of adults in the United States experience tinnitus to some degree and live with this hearing problem daily.
It can be a challenging hearing problem to effectively identify because there are so many different causes. Also, tinnitus itself is not a disease, but rather, a symptom of an underlying health issue. While some types of tinnitus may be easily treatable, such as that caused by taking ototoxic medications, other types do not offer a cure. Instead, you must pursue treatment options to help manage your symptoms.
Some of the most common causes include:
· Age-related hearing loss (the most common cause).
· Repeated exposure to very loud noises.
· Ototoxic drugs.
· Meniere’s disease.
· Acoustic neuroma.
· Muscle spasms in your inner ear.
· Ear infections.
· Major head or neck injuries.
· Ear wax build up.
· Blood vessel disorder.
What Does Tinnitus Sound Like?
Depending on the unique cause of your tinnitus, this hearing problem may sound very different than someone else experiencing it. Yet this can also prove advantageous as the sound of your tinnitus can help doctors identify the cause. For example, if you’re experiencing a pulsing sound of tinnitus, then it may be caused by a blood vessel disorder.
Some of the most common sounds of tinnitus include:
· Static noise.
· Pulsing (known as pulsatile tinnitus).
Can Tinnitus Be Cured?
Sadly, there are no current medical cures for tinnitus. But don’t lose hope. Doctors and audiologists have developed various treatment plans that can either help people manage and live with their symptoms or completely stop that ringing in their ears. The big factor here is the specific cause of your tinnitus symptoms.
Let’s use an example. Let’s say that your tinnitus is caused by ear wax blockage building up in your ear canal. In this case, an ear wax removal treatment could completely eliminate the “phantom noises” that you’re hearing and patients can find relief almost immediately. However, if your tinnitus is caused by another source, like age-related hearing loss or repeated exposure to loud noises, there is no simple method to completely eliminate the symptoms.
But there are methods to provide some relief. Hearing aids have proved effective for many people with tinnitus. Some people even use white noise machines that can help them to acclimate to their symptoms and not recognize them. Audiologists have even developed sophisticated treatments, like tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT), to help patients better cope with their symptoms. What’s most important is to consult your physician or audiologist to determine which treatment method will be most effective for your specific needs.
Tinnitus can be a tricky hearing problem to identify because no one else hears the sounds and it affects each person on an individual level. While it commonly sounds like a ringing or buzzing sound, it can also sound like a clicking, whirring, whistling, or even a deep pulsing sound like your heartbeat. In some cases, the sound of your tinnitus can link it to the specific cause of your hearing issue.
While tinnitus may not be a life-threatening hearing issue, it can lead to serious frustration, and difficulty forming and maintaining relationships, and make even the simplest of activities almost impossible. In severe instances, it can even lead to insomnia or depression. If you believe you’re suffering from tinnitus, don’t wait any longer. Get on the phone and reach out to an audiologist or doctor to receive a hearing test and complete diagnosis. This will set you on the road to managing your symptoms and regaining control of your hearing health. Adding a tinnitus health supplement as part of your daily diet can also prove to be an effective way to reduce those sounds of tinnitus.