I want to talk a little bit about tinnitus. We often get questions about tinnitus, mainly because there’s about, 50 million Americans that report some type of internal noise in their in their ears or in their head. And that’s the real definition for tinnitus: internal head noise.
It can be subjective, but it can actually can be objective too. Rarely though, but it is possible to actually hear it audibly out of somebody else’s ear as well.
It’s not an uncommon problem. Again, fifty million Americans report it and in fact we hear, probably more people come into our doors and complain about tinnitus than actual loss.
Now, what causes tinnitus? The overwhelming majority of tinnitus is caused by hearing loss, specifically by noise induced hearing loss. We see a lot of people that are either veterans or active military, and a lot of people that have recreational hearing loss like gun shooters and motorcycle riders. Usually some sort of long exposures to noise is the most common cause of tinnitus.
A lot of people think, “Boy, if I didn’t have this ringing in my head or buzzing, I hear great!” But understand this: it’s not the buzzing or ringing that causes the hearing loss; it’s actually the hearing loss that causes the ring.
It is usually caused by hearing loss which is why audiologists often get the question “Why do I have this ringing inside my head?” It doesn’t have to be hearing loss. There are lots of other things that can cause tinnitus as well. It could be a symptom of some neurological disorders, hypertension, dental issues, and even TMJ, problems with your temporal mandibular joint, can cause tinnitus as well.