That ringing in your ears doesn’t mean someone’s talking about you. It means the structures in your ears have changed. The specialists at Elite ENT (ear, nose, and throat) investigate the cause of your tinnitus, so they can fix it. Luis Vazquez, MD, and Mary Ferriera, AuD, may be able to reduce the ringing with hearing aids, medication, or other therapies. If you live with tinnitus in the Phoenix, Arizona, area, schedule an appointment at Elite ENT.
Tinnitus Q & A
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is an auditory condition that causes you to hear ringing, humming, clicking, or other noises in your ears when no external stimuli are present. Some men, women, and children experience ongoing (chronic) tinnitus, whereas others perceive the noise on occasion (acute).
Most forms of tinnitus are subjective, meaning that you hear noises others can’t. On rare occasions, a physician can hear the noise the patient can hear, which is called objective tinnitus. Objective tinnitus is usually due to a vascular or somatic condition.
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus is usually a symptom of a condition, not a disease. Some underlying issues that lead to tinnitus include:
- Otosclerosis, which causes bones in the middle ear to harden
- Middle ear infections
- Muscle spasms
- Cell damage to the tiny hairs in the inner ear
- Exposure to loud noises
- Earwax buildup
Head or neck injuries can also affect the inner ear or the brain’s auditory sensors, leading to tinnitus. Any condition that changes the way the ear transmits sound may cause you to hear ringing.
When should I see a doctor about tinnitus?
When tinnitus bothers you, make an appointment with an ENT specialist to help you discover the cause and develop a treatment plan. Treatment for tinnitus involves managing the underlying condition or reducing the sounds.
If vertigo or an upper respiratory infection accompany your tinnitus, check in with the health professionals at ENT Elite. You should also make an appointment as soon as possible if your tinnitus sounds like your heartbeat, as this symptom can be a sign of a vascular problem.
What treatment options do you offer for tinnitus?
If Dr. Vazquez identifies a health condition that’s possibly contributing to your tinnitus, he treats that condition first. Treatment options for tinnitus include:
- Earwax removal
- Hearing aids
- White noise machines to mask sounds
- Electrical stimulation
- Antianxiety, antidepressant, or other medication
- Cognitive therapy and mindfulness meditation
If you hear ringing in your ears, schedule an evaluation at Elite ENT over the phone or using the online scheduler.