The noise pollution of modern living has produced an increase in the number of people who walk around with the perception of constant ringing in their ears, even when there is no similar external sound. This condition is known as tinnitus and it has frustrated many people over the years as they have desperately searched for some relief from the perceived noise in their head.
The condition can be caused by many things such as ear infections, allergies that prevent proper drainage of fluids, objects in the ear, and loud noises. In recent years, the introduction of in-ear Silencil headphones has resulted in an increase in tinnitus. People often have the volume turned up too high when using these headphones and sound is channeled directly into the ear with no opportunity to be deadened before reaching the sensitive nerves in the ear.
Many people also get tinnitus as a result of getting older. This is often the result of medication side effects or caused by natural hearing degeneration. People who spend a lot of time working around very noisy equipment without adequate hearing protection, often complain about tinnitus as they get older. This noise-induced hearing loss is the most common cause of this condition in industrialized countries.
People who have ringing in their ears need to consult with their doctor before taking medication in order to determine its potential ototoxicity, or its potential to cause damage to the inner ear. The ototoxicity of various medicines will have a cumulative effect if they are taken together and they could substantially increase the amount of disturbing noise being perceived in a person’s head.
Some research has shown that up to 12 percent of seniors say they have some form of tinnitus. This can be a ringing in either ear, both ears or in the head. So the condition is very common, and it can be very disruptive to the enjoyment of life if those perceived noises are very loud and seldom fade away. It can be especially frustrating in a room full of people where the noise level is loud because everybody is talking and focusing on one conversation becomes difficult.
People who have objective tinnitus actually emit some sound from the ear. This may be caused by crackling in the ear or muscle spasms, and it can be perceived by other people. Blood flow in the ear can also produce an objective sound for people with pulsatile tinnitus. This can result from various causes and may indicate a potentially dangerous medical condition.
Treatments for tinnitus abound but they are not all created equally and many are totally useless for most people. Of course, the best treatment is prevention. This can often be achieved by wearing proper hearing protection when working in noisy locations and by not using excessive volume when wearing headphones or listening to music.