Ringing in the ears can spell trouble



    Dec 17, 2014

    Ringing in the ears can spell trouble

    HEARING loss and other hearing conditions may lead to social and psychological issues, such as causing a person to feel isolated.

    One symptom of an underlying hearing condition is tinnitus. It is a sensation of hearing a ringing-like sound even when there isn't one.

    What causes tinnitus?

    One common cause is inner ear cell damage, which can be due to prolonged exposure to loud sounds of more than 85 decibels. These include the sound from a passing motorcycle or a handheld electric drill.

    Tinnitus may also be caused by: age-related hearing loss; the accumulation of too much earwax, which may irritate the eardrums; thyroid disorders; lyme disease; as well as head and neck injuries.

    A person may experience tinnitus in one or both ears, or even in the head. Besides a ringing sound, tinnitus could manifest itself as a buzzing, ticking or roaring sound.

    A number of factors determine how much tinnitus can affect a person's life. These include the volume, frequency and duration of noise a person is exposed to, as well as how he perceives the symptom's ringing sound.

    Tinnitus can get so bad that it causes a person to have trouble sleeping, become fearful or depressed.

    To avoid getting tinnitus, simply reduce exposure to loud sounds.

    For those who love listening to music on earphones or headphones, limit listening to no more than an hour daily. To reduce the likelihood of cranking up the volume on such devices, noise-cancelling headphones can be useful in blocking out background sounds.

    When using headphones or earphones, if the person beside you can hear your music or has to shout so you can hear him, the music is probably too loud and the volume should be turned down.

    If you are a regular concert or nightclub goer, don't linger near the speakers. Getting out of a noisy venue for regular breaks helps, too.