In your search for what causes ringing in the ears or tinnitus, you first have to understand what tinnitus actually is.
Tinnitus is referred to as a condition where the sufferer hears sounds like ringing, buzzing, humming, or hissing without any external source producing these sounds. Tinnitus sounds may become even louder when background sounds are especially low. This is why most people who suffer tinnitus are most conscious about these sounds at night when their surroundings are much quieter.
In some elderly people tinnitus may be associated with the natural loss of hearing, most experience only momentary tinnitus that generally fades in hours or a few days. If the issue of ringing in the ears lasts for a longer period than that, it would be best to consult your doctor or a specialist.
Treatments of tinnitus may involve some medicines, various therapies, and / or active counseling depending on the severity of the case. If you are clear about what causes ringing in the ears, it would be easier for you to opt for a suitable remedy. Although the precise causes of tinnitus have been determined by an assortment of studies to be varied, theses are a few causes that have been recognized to trigger tinnitus:
Damage in the Inner Ear
Damage in the inner ear is the most common cause of the ringing ears. The inner most area of the ear contains the auditory nerve and cochlea. The cochlea is like a spiral tube that contains thousands of sensitive hair cells and the auditory nerve which is responsible for carrying the sounds to brain. Any damaged part of the cochlea can restrict the sounds to be transferred to the brain. In such a condition, the brain seeks additional information from other working parts of the cochlea which causes the tinnitus sounds.
In older people the auditory nerve loses its sensitivity and can cause tinnitus as the preliminary symptom of loss of hearing. Younger people may experience tinnitus because of inner ear damage due to prolonged exposure to loud noises, like concerts or my personal favorite as a kid … monster truck rallies.
Other than damage to the inner ear, there can be many other causes trigger trigger tinnitus.
Here's a few notable ones …
• Tinnitus is often caused by mere wax build up in the ear, ear infection, or in some rare cases tumor of the auditory nerve
• Excess use of certain medicines or combination of medicines can also cause tinnitus. Tinnitus is identified to be a probable side effect of over 200 drugs including some sedatives, antibiotics, anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin).
• Aging may cause tinnitus as a result of deterioration in function of some parts of the ear
• Some diseases like Meniere's is found to cause tinnitus
• Medical conditions like circulatory issues, high blood pressure, allergies, anemia, cardio vascular diseases, diabetes and an under-active thyroid gland can cause ringing in the ears
• Severe neck and head injuries may also cause ringing in the ears
• Certain jaw and neck problems like temporo mandibular joint syndrome (TMJ syndrome). Strained neck and back muscles, etc ..
The issues associated with tinnitus may be severe if the sufferer consumes excess amounts of alcohol, caffeine, or tobacco products. Stress or anxiety may not directly give you tinnitus but it can certainly worsen the symptoms and create an unbearable condition.
Now that you know what causes ringing in the ears, you can seek a remedy according to the probable cause you suspect to be triggering tinnitus in your case. It is recommended to wait for some time to allow the ringing of the ear to subside by itself. If the issue is persistent, surely consult your doctor.