Over 50 million people in the United States have experienced ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus, at some point in their lives. Tinnitus may be a mild and occasional problem or a loud and constant annoyance. As an ear, nose, and throat specialist, Franklyn Gergits, DO, MS, at Sinus & Allergy Wellness Center is the expert you need to determine the cause of your tinnitus and provide treatment that helps you overcome the problem. To get help for tinnitus, schedule an appointment online or call one of the offices in Fountain Hills or Scottsdale, Arizona.
Tinnitus is a symptom rather than a medical condition. When you have tinnitus, you hear a sound or noise even though there’s nothing in your environment causing the sound. You may hear a variety of phantom noises, such as:
Tinnitus can occur in one or both ears. The sound may remain constant or come and go, and it can be loud enough to affect your concentration or make it hard to hear.
There are two types of tinnitus: primary and secondary. When an underlying cause can’t be found, you have primary tinnitus. Secondary tinnitus is caused by an underlying problem. The most common causes include:
Exposure to loud sounds frequently leads to tinnitus. Heavy equipment, firearms, and long-term exposure to loud music are a few of the top culprits.
When you have long-term exposure, you can develop permanent damage and hearing loss. Short-term exposure to a loud sound often results in temporary tinnitus.
Less common causes of tinnitus include temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, Meniere’s disease, a benign tumor, or trauma. Some patients experience muscle spasms in their inner ear, a problem that leads to tinnitus, hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness in your ear.
In rare cases, tinnitus develops due to an underlying blood vessel disorder. A few examples include atherosclerosis in blood vessels in your ear or malformed capillaries.
Dr. Gergits examines your ear, learns about the sounds you hear, and may perform hearing tests, especially if your tinnitus affects your hearing. If he identifies a cause, your treatment focuses on healing that problem.
Otherwise, Dr. Gergits focuses on reducing your symptoms. This could include cleaning wax out of your ears, prescribing medications that may reduce the severity of the noise, or using white noise to block out the tinnitus.
You may get relief from a masking device, which is worn like a hearing aid and produces white noise.
If you have occasional or ongoing tinnitus, call Sinus & Allergy Wellness Center or schedule an appointment online.