Tinnitus is classified as a ringing or buzzing that occurs in the ear. For some this sound is constant while for others it is intermittent. For some the sound is very loud while for others it is quiet and can only be heard when it is silent. For some the sound is very high pitched and for others it is a low bass. Each person that has tinnitus hears something different and as a result each person that has tinnitus may have developed it though very different experiences or exposure.

What are common causes of tinnitus?

How do you get tinnitus? There are, unfortunately, many ways in which a person can develop tinnitus. The most common way people develop tinnitus is through prolonged exposure to loud noise, which then goes hand in hand with hearing loss as well because long exposure to loud noise typically created hearing loss in most individuals.

Examples of loud noise exposure include but are not limited to your work environment, such as a construction site, gun range or bouncer at a club, loud music, such as listening to headphones or earbuds with the volume at high or listening to your car stereo on high, concerts, firing of a gun, exposure to explosives, jet engines or movies, either watching at home with a loud surround sound system or going to the movie theatre.

Of course there are many other ways a person may develop hearing loss such as medication, disease, head or neck trauma, brain injury, ear infection, problem or damage to the middle or inner ear, heart disease or high blood pressure and diabetes. These are only a few examples of the possible causes of tinnitus and are definitely not limited to this short list of examples.

Seeking treatment for tinnitus

If you think or know that you have tinnitus see your doctor or hearing health professional. Discuss with them what you are hearing and feeling. It could be a new medication or a change in medication that has caused you to develop tinnitus or it could have been a sudden exposure to a very loud noise that may have caused the development of tinnitus. Either way, visit your hearing care provider to have the problem properly diagnosed so you can move forward with a treatment plan.