Approximately a quarter of us experience some form of ringing or other noise in the ear at some time in our lives. Referred to by ENT professionals as tinnitus, the problem can be life-altering. Living with severe tinnitus can cause stress, difficulty sleeping, and impact the sufferer's quality of life.
Tinnitus is not defined as a disease. Tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying issue causing constant noise or ringing in the ears. The sound can range in pitch, and tinnitus sufferers describe it as anything from a low roar or pulsation to high-pitched ringing. Some cases are sporadic and subtle, but when tinnitus continues and begins interfering with everyday life, it's time for a visit to an ENT doctor.
For most people, tinnitus is caused by hearing loss, but the causes are varied and can include:
Build up of ear wax
Damage to the hairs of the inner ear
Outer structural problems with the ear
Your ENT doctor can examine your ear to determine the cause of your tinnitus. Going to a hearing aid dispenser isn't a wise course of action because your tinnitus may be caused by an issue other than hearing loss.
Your ENT doctor will want to understand your medical history and current symptoms. Some things you can do to help your doctor diagnose the cause of your tinnitus include describing the sound, noting if and when the sound changes and what you were doing when it changed, if certain foods make things worse and if the problem is worse at night or during the day. Your ENT doctor will also need to know about any medications or supplements you're currently taking.
Most people can get real relief from tinnitus symptoms! Contact us to schedule your appointment with Southwest Idaho ENT today!