The sensation of hearing phantom sound or noises in the ears is commonly termed as “ringing in ears” or medically “Tinnitus”. The sound may be temporary or permanent and is not limited to ringing; the affected person can also hear other noises such as hissing, whistling, buzzing, roaring, etc, with varying pitches.
There are various physical conditions that may become the underlying causes of Tinnitus. Although the exact cause is often difficult to measure, medical researches determine the most common causes such as over-exposure to loud sound, hearing loss due to aging, earwax build-up, etc, in which 90% of the cases are associated with hearing-loss, resulted from prolonged exposure to loud sounds.
People whose jobs regularly expose them to loud sounds such as rock musicians, pilots, landscapers, carpenters, etc, are susceptible to Tinnitus. In some cases, Tinnitus can also be caused by a single and sudden exposure to an exceedingly thunderous sound.
Here is a list of the most common causes of “ringing in ears” or Tinnitus:
Prolonged Exposure to Loud Sound:
This is the most common Tinnitus cause, accounting for roughly 90% of cases. When a person is regularly exposed to loud noises due to nature of the jobs related to firearms, chain saws, heavy machinery equipment, etc, he/she is most likely to suffer from noise-induced hearing loss and eventually Tinnitus.
If you frequently listen to loud music for long durations, you may also become the victim of noise-induced hearing loss.
If your Tinnitus occurs suddenly after having attended a thunderous music concert, is often temporary. But over-exposure to such loud sounds will harm the cochlea’ sound-sensitive cells and may also cause permanent damage.
Hearing Loss due to Aging:
Tinnitus may also be caused by hearing loss. In many cases, hearing gets worse with maturity in age, commonly experienced as the person gets around 60 years of age. Such age-related hearing loss is medically term as “presbycusis”.
Wax or Foreign Body Build-up or Blockage in the Ear:
When ear wax is built-up too much in the ear canal, it naturally becomes difficult to rinse blockage away that cause ear infection, eardrum irritation, and sometimes benign tumor in auditory nerves linked with hearing. These all can lead to hearing loss and eventually may become Tinnitus cause.
Faults or Changes in Ear Bone:
For many people, middle ear bones sometimes becomes rigid that can have an effect in hearing. This abnormal bone growth is one of the causes of hearing loss that finally lead to Tinnitus.
Other Potential Causes of Tinnitus:
Various other chronic health conditions and physical injuries that have the potential to damage ear nerves or brain nerves associated with hearing center can become underlying Tinnitus causes.