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Tinnitus

ENT Specialists

ENTs and Allergy Clinics located in Salt Lake City, UT; Murray, UT; Tooele, UT; Draper, UT; & West Jordan, UT

Millions of Americans have tinnitus and hear ringing or buzzing sounds. If you have tinnitus, the team of board-certified physicians at ENT Specialists in Salt Lake City, Murray, Draper, Tooele, and West Jordan, Utah, diagnose tinnitus and offer customized treatments to relieve your symptoms. If you’re troubled by tinnitus, call ENT Specialists or schedule a consultation online today for expert help.

Tinnitus Q & A

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of sound when there’s no external noise. You might hear ringing, buzzing, clicking, or hissing. Most cases of tinnitus are subjective, which means that only you can hear the noises.

Objective tinnitus, which comprises less than 1% of cases, involves sounds that other people can hear. 

What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus isn’t an independent condition, but a sign of other issues. The most common cause of tinnitus is damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. 

You have tiny hairs in your inner ear that translate soundwaves into electrical signals that travel to your brain. When those hairs are bent or broken, they send random messages to your brain that you perceive as ringing, buzzing, or clicking.

Other factors that contribute to tinnitus include age-related hearing loss, exposure to loud noise, earwax blockages, and abnormal bone growth in your middle ear. 

You might also develop tinnitus if you have Meniere’s disease, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, eustachian tube dysfunction, or acoustic neuroma. Blood vessel problems like high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and malformed capillaries can also cause ringing in your ears. 

When should I talk to a doctor about tinnitus?

Tinnitus isn’t usually a sign of a serious problem. However, it can be bothersome and interfere with your hearing. Contact the team at ENT Specialists if you feel like tinnitus is interfering with your life. 

You should also make an appointment if you develop tinnitus with an upper respiratory infection, and your symptoms don’t go away within a week. Other signs that you should contact a doctor include sudden onset tinnitus with no apparent cause or concurrent hearing loss or dizziness. 

How is tinnitus treated?

The team at ENT Specialists begins with an exam to identify the cause of your tinnitus. They might include a hearing test or a CT scan. Then, when they know what’s causing the ringing in your ears, they create a treatment plan.

In some cases, your doctor can treat the underlying cause of tinnitus by removing earwax, changing medication, or providing a referral to a vascular health specialist.

In other situations, however, treatment isn’t possible, and your doctor helps you manage your symptoms. For example, you might find that a white noise machine helps suppress the sounds. Your doctor might also recommend a hearing aid or masking device. 

If you’re bothered by tinnitus, call ENT Specialists today or make an appointment online for expert diagnosis and treatment.