When Is Ringing In My Ears A Problem?

Tinnitus, hearing sound without an external source, is a very common condition.  Tinnitus is often described as a ringing, buzzing or hissing sound by patients. According to the National Institute On Deafness And Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), roughly 10% of the adult U.S. population have experienced tinnitus over the past year. Tinnitus can range from a slight annoyance to extremely bothersome and is sometimes a sign of a larger health condition. 

The following types of tinnitus may be cause for concern: 

  • Pulsatile tinnitus, or sound that follows the rhythm of your heartbeat
  • Unilateral tinnitus, only heard in one ear
  • Sudden and persistent tinnitus lasting longer than one week
  • Debilitating tinnitus, reducing ability to perform normal daily activities

If you experience these types of tinnitus, medical evaluation is recommended to help rule out a serious condition.

For the majority of cases tinnitus is the first sign of hearing damage.  Tinnitus can also occur after loud noise exposure and sometimes occurs for no reason at all.  In very quiet environments it is normal to hear a low humming or hissing sound, related to blood flowing through the head or other normal functions. It is even normal to experience occasional ringing for a few minutes.
If you are experiencing tinnitus, or would like to learn more about the condition, visit our website or contact the professionals at The Dallas Ear Institute for an evaluation.

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