Tinnitus most commonly occurs for unknown reasons.
Other causes of ringing in ears
- Aging (Presbycusis)
- Ear Trauma (Such As From the Noise of Planes, Firearms, or Loud Music)
- Fluid in the Ears
- Medications (Both Prescription and Nonprescription, Notably Aspirin and Other Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs [NSAIDs])
- Rarely, Aneurysm or an Acoustic Neuroma (a Benign Tumor on the Acoustic Nerve)
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Causes of Ringing in Ears
Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a congenital disorder of blood vessels in the brain, brainstem, or spinal cord that is characterized by a complex, tangled web of abnormal arteries and veins connected by one or more fistulas (abnormal communications). Symptoms of arteriovenous malformations include seizures and headaches. Treatment of arteriovenous malformations include medication or surgery.
Cauliflower ear, or "boxer's ear," is caused by an injury to the ear, usually by blunt trauma from sports such as boxing, wrestling, or martial arts. When hematomas form, infection and eardrum injury may occur in addition to hearing loss if not treated. Treatment goals are to drain blood from hematomas, treat infection, and at times administer antibiotics to prevent further infection.
Earwax (ear wax) is a natural substance secreted by special glands in the skin on the outer part of the ear canal. It repels water, and traps dust and sand particles. Usually a small amount of wax accumulates, dries up, and then falls out of the ear canal carrying with it unwanted particles. Under ideal circumstances, you should never have to clean your ear canals. The absence of ear wax may result in dry, itchy ears, and even infection. Ear wax may accumulate in the ear for a variety of reasons including; narrowing of the ear canal, production of less ear wax due to aging, or an overproduction of ear wax in response to trauma or blockage within the ear canal.
Fabry disease (Fabry's disease, alpha-galactosidase-A) is a genetic disorder with symptoms such as burning sensations in the hands, small-raised reddish-purplish blemishes on the skin, fever, decreases sweating, and gastrointestinal (GI) difficulties. Fabry disease patients are at increased risk of heart attack, heart disease, kidney failure, and stroke. Symptoms of Fabry disease can be treated with medication.
How Do You Get Rid of Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus)?
Tinnitus is not a condition in itself, but a symptom of some other condition that causes a high-pitched whine, a ringing, buzzing or clicking in the ears. It can come from any number of problems starting with the eardrum and cochlea – the organs that turn sound waves into electrical signals for the brain to interpret as sound.
Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever that causes flu-like symptoms. Ribavirin is the standard treatment for Lassa fever. Hearing loss is a common complication of Lassa fever.
Meniere disease (idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops) is an inner ear disorder with symptoms that include: vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, and the sensation of ear fullness. The primary treatments for Meniere disease are: diuretics, anti-vertigo, anti-nausea, and low salt diets. Surgery may be recommended if the vertigo cannot be controlled with medication.
Middle Ear Infection (Otitis Media)
Middle ear infection (otitis media) is inflammation of the middle ear. There are two forms of this type of ear infection, acute and chronic. Acute otitis media is generally short in duration, and chronic otitis media generally lasts several weeks. Babies, toddlers, and children with a middle ear infection may be irritable, pull and tug at their ears, and experience numerous other symptoms and signs. Treatment depends upon the type of ear infection.
Nasopharyngeal cancer is a form of cancer in which malignant cells form in the nasopharynx tissues. Risk factors include being of Chinese or Asian ancestry and exposure to the Epstein-Barr virus. Symptoms and signs of nasopharyngeal cancer include a sore throat, a lump in the neck or nose, trouble hearing, nosebleeds, headaches, and trouble hearing, breathing, or speaking. Treatment depends upon the stage of the cancer, the tumor size, the type of cancer, and the patient's health and age.
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is a disorder that causes symptoms like pain, clicking, and popping of the jaw. TMJ is caused by injury to the temporomandibular joint. Stress, poor posture, jaw trauma, genetic predisposition, and inflammatory disorders are risk factors for the condition. A variety of self-care measures (application of ice, use of over-the-counter pain medication, massage, relaxation techniques) and medical treatment options (dental splint, Botox, prescription medications, surgery) are available to manage TMJ. The prognosis of TMJ is good with proper treatment.
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