Why We Hear a Ringing in Our Ears and What May Be Causing It

Sometimes after a concert or exposure to excessively loud sounds or noises, we can perceive a buzzing sound. It doesn’t seem to be coming from any source and strangely we can only hear it when everything else is silent.

We will tell you more about this curious phenomenon that you may have experienced at least once in your life. Remember that if you notice something out of the ordinary, it is best to go to the doctor.

A sound with an unknown origin

Why We Hear a Ringing in Our Ears and What May Be Causing It

The buzzing, hissing, or strange noise in our ears is known as tinnitus. It is a phantom perception of a sound when there is no source for it.

As each person is different, it can also manifest as a roar or a snap, and there are several factors that can cause it.

The symptom of ringing is usually temporary and can be subtle or, in some cases, so intense that it makes it difficult to carry on a conversation.

However, if the ringing lasts a long time or is chronically repetitive, it can interfere with the daily lives of those who experience it.

The Cause Of This Unusual Buzzing Sound

Why We Hear a Ringing in Our Ears and What May Be Causing It
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Tinnitus occurs due to damage to the tiny hair cells located in our inner ear. These cells form small villi near the cochlea that move according to the sound waves that reach our ears.

The auditory nerve then perceives and interprets these waves as sounds. But when the villi are injured, they send the wrong message and the wrong signal is sent to our brain, causing us to hear a stimulus that is not really present.

Factors That Can Provoke These Ringing Sounds

Why We Hear a Ringing in Our Ears and What May Be Causing It

These small injuries to the inner ear can be due to a number of causes, including:

Exposure to loud noises for a long time, such as a concert or construction, or listening to speakers or headphones at high volume can cause this. In the first case, it is easy to recover and return to normal. In the second case, as it is common, the damage caused by the excessive volume that reaches the ear can become permanent.

Ear wax can also be the cause of tinnitus. A blockage in the ear canal from wax buildup can cause it to swell and even irritate the eardrum, generating this irritating imaginary sound. This can also be due to an ear infection.

As we age, we can gradually lose our hearing, which, in the long run, can lead to a constant sensation of tinnitus or clicking in people over 60.

Another cause is variations in blood pressure.

Why We Hear a Ringing in Our Ears and What May Be Causing It

Head and neck injuries, and even excessive stress in these areas, can cause tinnitus because they are linked to our hearing. When this is the source of tinnitus, it usually occurs in only one ear.

On the other hand, the condition can present hardening of the ossicles of the middle ear (otosclerosis), which is one of its main symptoms.

When the temporomandibular joint (where the jaw meets the skull) is disturbed or injured, it can induce tinnitus due to its proximity to the ear.

This sensation, in more extreme cases, can be a sign of diseases, such as Ménière’s syndrome, a condition of the inner ear; or vestibular schwannoma, which is produced by a benign tumor located in the skull.

The use of medications such as antidepressants, antibiotics, and diuretics can also cause this symptom.

How To Prevent Tinnitus

Why We Hear a Ringing in Our Ears and What May Be Causing It

If this sensation lasts for a long time and is perceived with great intensity, it can affect our daily lives and cause fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, and sleep or memory problems.

Therefore, it is best to avoid extremely loud sounds, not to listen to headphones at full volume, and, if we go to an event or noisy area, it is a good idea to wear ear protectors to protect our ears.

It is also essential to take care of our cardiovascular health with a healthy diet and exercise since there is no specific treatment for this condition.

Do you remember ever experiencing this strange phantom sound? What do you think caused this in the first place?

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