Tinnitus Treatment in Westminster Denver Colorado
is when you experience ringing or other noises in one or both of your ears.
noise you hear when you have tinnitus isn’t caused by an external sound, and
other people usually can’t hear it.
is a common problem. It affects about 15% to 20% of people, and is especially
common in older adults.
is usually caused by an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss,
an ear injury or a problem with the circulatory system.
many people, tinnitus improves with treatment of the underlying cause or with
other treatments that reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less
is most often described as a ringing in the ears, even though no external sound
is present. However, tinnitus can also cause other types of phantom noises in
your ears, including:
people who have tinnitus have subjective tinnitus, or tinnitus that only you
noises of tinnitus may vary in pitch from a low roar to a high squeal, and you
may hear it in one or both ears.
some cases, the sound can be so loud it interferes with your ability to
concentrate or hear external sound.
may be present all the time, or it may come and go.
rare cases, tinnitus can occur as a rhythmic pulsing or whooshing sound, often
in time with your heartbeat. This is called pulsatile tinnitus. If you have
pulsatile tinnitus, your doctor may be able to hear your tinnitus when he or
she does an examination (objective tinnitus).
When to see a doctor
people aren’t very bothered by tinnitus. For other people, tinnitus disrupts
their daily lives. If you have tinnitus that bothers you, see your doctor.
an appointment to see your doctor if:
develop tinnitus after an upper respiratory infection, such as a cold, and your
tinnitus doesn’t improve within a week.
your doctor as soon as possible if:
have hearing loss or dizziness with the tinnitus.
are experiencing anxiety or depression as a result of your tinnitus.
number of health conditions can cause or worsen tinnitus. In many cases, an
exact cause is never found.
causes of tinnitus
loss. There are tiny, delicate hair cells in your inner ear (cochlea) that move
when your ear receives sound waves. This movement triggers electrical signals
along the nerve from your ear to your brain (auditory nerve). Your brain
interprets these signals as sound.
If the hairs inside your inner ear are bent or broken — this happens as you age or when you are regularly exposed to loud sounds — they can “leak” random electrical impulses to your brain, causing tinnitus.
infection or ear canal blockage. Your ear canals can become blocked with a
buildup of fluid (ear infection), earwax, dirt or other foreign materials. A
blockage can change the pressure in your ear, causing tinnitus.
or neck injuries. Head or neck trauma can affect the inner ear, hearing nerves
or brain function linked to hearing. Such injuries usually cause tinnitus in
only one ear.
A number of medications may cause or worsen tinnitus. Generally, the higher the
dose of these medications, the worse tinnitus becomes. Often the unwanted noise
disappears when you stop using these drugs.
Medications known to cause tinnitus include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and certain antibiotics, cancer drugs, water pills (diuretics), antimalarial drugs and antidepressants.
less common causes of tinnitus
disease. Tinnitus can be an early indicator of Meniere’s disease, an inner ear
disorder that may be caused by abnormal inner ear fluid pressure.
tube dysfunction. In this condition, the tube in your ear connecting the middle
ear to your upper throat remains expanded all the time, which can make your ear
bone changes. Stiffening of the bones in your middle ear (otosclerosis) may
affect your hearing and cause tinnitus. This condition, caused by abnormal bone
growth, tends to run in families.
spasms in the inner ear. Muscles in the inner ear can tense up (spasm), which
can result in tinnitus, hearing loss and a feeling of fullness in the ear. This
sometimes happens for no explainable reason, but can also be caused by
neurologic diseases, including multiple sclerosis.
joint (TMJ) disorders. Problems with the TMJ, the joint on each side of your
head in front of your ears, where your lower jawbone meets your skull, can
neuroma or other head and neck tumors. Acoustic neuroma is a noncancerous
(benign) tumor that develops on the cranial nerve that runs from your brain to
your inner ear and controls balance and hearing. Other head, neck or brain
tumors can also cause tinnitus.
vessel disorders. Conditions that affect your blood vessels — such as
atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, or kinked or malformed blood vessels —
can cause blood to move through your veins and arteries with more force. These
blood flow changes can cause tinnitus or make tinnitus more noticeable.
chronic conditions. Conditions including diabetes, thyroid problems, migraines,
anemia, and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus have
all been associated with tinnitus.
can experience tinnitus, but these factors may increase your risk:
noise exposure. Loud noises, such as those from heavy equipment, chain saws and
firearms, are common sources of noise-related hearing loss. Portable music
devices, such as MP3 players, also can cause noise-related hearing loss if
played loudly for long periods. People who work in noisy environments — such as
factory and construction workers, musicians, and soldiers — are particularly at
As you age, the number of functioning nerve fibers in your ears declines,
possibly causing hearing problems often associated with tinnitus.
Men are more likely to experience tinnitus.
and alcohol use. Smokers have a higher risk of developing tinnitus. Drinking
alcohol also increases the risk of tinnitus.
health problems. Obesity, cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, and a
history of arthritis or head injury all increase your risk of tinnitus.
affects people differently. For some people, tinnitus can significantly affect
quality of life. If you have tinnitus, you may also experience:
● Sleep problems
● Trouble concentrating
● Memory problems
● Anxiety and irritability
● Problems with work and family life
Treating these linked conditions may not affect tinnitus
directly, but it can help you feel better.
many cases, tinnitus is the result of something that can’t be prevented.
However, some precautions can help prevent certain kinds of tinnitus.
● Use hearing protection. Over time, exposure to loud sounds
can damage the nerves in the ears, causing hearing loss and tinnitus. Try to
limit your exposure to loud sounds. And if you cannot avoid loud sounds, use
ear protection to help protect your hearing. If you use chain saws, are a
musician, work in an industry that uses loud machinery or use firearms
(especially pistols or shotguns), always wear over-the-ear hearing protection.
● Turn down the volume. Long-term exposure to amplified music
with no ear protection or listening to music at very high volume through
headphones can cause hearing loss and tinnitus.
● Take care of your cardiovascular health. Regular exercise,
eating right and taking other steps to keep your blood vessels healthy can help
prevent tinnitus linked to obesity and blood vessel disorders.
● Limit alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. These substances,
especially when used in excess, can affect blood flow and contribute to
for tinnitus depends on whether your tinnitus is caused by an underlying health
condition. If so, your doctor may be able to reduce your symptoms by treating
the underlying cause. Examples include:
● Earwax removal. Removing an earwax blockage can decrease
● Treating a blood vessel condition. Underlying blood vessel
conditions may require medication, surgery or another treatment to address the
● Hearing aids. If your tinnitus is caused by noise-induced or
age-related hearing loss, using hearing aids may help improve your symptoms.
● Changing your medication. If a medication you’re taking
appears to be the cause of tinnitus, your doctor may recommend stopping or
reducing the drug, or switching to a different medication.
times, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are treatments that can help make
your symptoms less noticeable. Your doctor may suggest using an electronic
device to suppress the noise. Devices include:
● White noise machines. These devices, which produce a sound
similar to static, or environmental sounds such as falling rain or ocean waves,
are often an effective treatment for tinnitus. You may want to try a white
noise machine with pillow speakers to help you sleep. Fans, humidifiers,
dehumidifiers and air conditioners in the bedroom also produce white noise and
may help make tinnitus less noticeable at night.
● Masking devices. Worn in the ear and similar to hearing
aids, these devices produce a continuous, low-level white noise that suppresses
Our expert providers are experienced and skilled
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