Tinnitus

Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center

Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors located in St. Clair Shores, Macomb Township, Rochester Hills, Grosse Pointe, and Sterling Heights, MI

If you have tinnitus, you may experience a ringing, buzzing, or hissing sound in your ears that can be intermittent or constant, depending on the severity of your condition. The otologists (ear and hearing specialists) at Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center offer expert diagnosis and treatment for tinnitus at their offices in St. Clair Shores, Macomb Township, Rochester, Grosse Pointe, and Sterling Heights, Michigan. If tinnitus is disrupting your life, call or make an appointment online today.

Tinnitus Q & A

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus occurs when you have phantom ringing or buzzing in your ears; it affects approximately 20% of the population. Tinnitus is generally an underlying symptom of something else, such as an injury, hearing loss, or circulatory disorder.

The phantom sounds caused by tinnitus may be perceived in one or both ears and range from a high squeal to a lower buzz. The sounds may include:

  • Buzzing
  • Clicking
  • Hissing
  • Ringing
  • Roaring

Depending on the severity of your tinnitus, you may find it so distracting that it makes it difficult to concentrate. It may even interrupt your ability to hear actual sounds.

 

What causes tinnitus?

A common cause of the phantom ringing is damage to the cells in your ears. Tiny hairs in your ears vibrate from sound waves and trigger messages to your brain. When those hairs are bent or broken, they can transmit random messages that indicate sound.

Other conditions that may cause tinnitus include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Short- and long-term exposure to loud noise
  • Structural abnormalities of the bones in your middle ear
  • Middle ear congestion

Other less common causes of tinnitus include Meniere’s disease, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, and head or neck trauma. Circulatory issues like high blood pressure or atherosclerosis can also cause tinnitus.

 

How is tinnitus diagnosed?

Your Lakeshore ENT physician examines your ears and asks questions about the sounds you hear, including:

  • What type of sound do you hear?
  • How often do you hear it?
  • How long does the sound last?

Your doctor also performs a general physical exam and reviews your overall health and well-being to check for other health conditions that can cause tinnitus.

You’ll also have some hearing tests to determine if you have hearing loss and if tinnitus is disrupting your ability to hear normal sounds.

How is tinnitus treated?

Treatment for tinnitus depends on the condition causing the phantom ringing. This may involve treating a vascular health issue, changing your medication, or even removing an earwax blockage.

If your tinnitus is related to hearing loss, your doctor focuses treatment on managing your symptoms. White noise machines can drown out bothersome noises, including tinnitus. You might also benefit from a hearing aid to improve your hearing and reduce the perceived sounds caused by tinnitus.

If ringing in your ears is distracting or troubling you, call Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat or make an appointment online today.