By Barrett White
Have you ever been home alone with the TV off, no music playing, but for some reason you hear that high-pitched ring? Most people have experienced “ringing in their ears” at some point: It’s not an external noise like a phone, television, or radio; and other people can’t hear it. It’s right there in your ear… but what is it?
This is called tinnitus, and it’s very common. It’s also usually nothing to be worried about.
There are various kinds of tinnitus, too, and each is caused by something different. According to the Mayo Clinic there are four common “ringing in the ears” sensations:
- Clicking. This type of sound suggests that muscle contractions in and around your ear might be the cause of your tinnitus.
- Pulsing, rushing or humming. These sounds usually stem from blood vessel (vascular) causes, such as high blood pressure, and you may notice them when you exercise or change positions, such as when you lie down or stand up.
- Low-pitched ringing. This type of sound may point to ear canal blockages, Meniere’s disease or stiff inner ear bones (otosclerosis).
- High-pitched ringing. This is the most commonly heard tinnitus sound. Likely causes include loud noise exposure, hearing loss or medications. Acoustic neuroma can cause continuous, high-pitched ringing in one ear.
Tinnitus can be treated several ways, depending on the type you are experiencing and what is causing it. Your doctor may change your medication if you’re experiencing high-pitched ringing, or you may need to have excess earwax extracted if it’s low-pitched. Alternative measures may be taken if the cause is blood pressure.
You may also experience tinnitus immediately after pausing loud music in your headphones – be kind to your ears and turn the music down!
Are you experiencing tinnitus on a regular basis and would like to chat with your Legacy provider about it? Schedule a visit today online or by calling (832) 548-5000.