Tinnitus or ringing in the ears can develop from anywhere inside the ear. It can arise from the outer ear, the middle ear, in the inner ear and sometimes tinnitus may be due to abnormalities in the structures of the brain. Here are some of the most common causes of this unusual ringing in the ears:
1. Obstruction or blockage can cause tinnitus. Anything from ear wax to any foreign body stuck inside the ear can cause ringing. Sounds from the inside the body can bounce back from any obstruction causing severe ringing, swishing and pulsating sounds.
Children are prone to tinnitus caused by impaction of ear wax plus small
objects placed inside the ear. Never allow small children or babies to
play alone or to eat alone and clean plus inspect the child’s ear
regularly for any impaction or blockage.
2. Exposure to extremely loud noises can cause acute to permanent tinnitus and even hearing problems. This cause of tinnitus is common in workplaces where there is extreme noise like in underground mines and construction. Constant noise can also damage sensitive nerves for hearing causing permanent hearing loss.
Exposure to extremely loud music like rock concerts can temporarily
cause tinnitus and loss of hearing. However, if a person is exposed
regularly to this type of music, permanent damage to the structures of
the ear can develop.
There are also medications that can cause tinnitus. Drugs like aspirin
and antibiotics can cause temporary tinnitus and may be relieved after
the treatment is over. Overdosing on medication can also lead to
tinnitus as well as taking medicine in combination with other drugs can
cause severe adverse reaction like headaches, tinnitus and nausea.
Infections of the fluid in the middle ear, which is responsible for
balance, can also cause ringing in the ear. Structures of the ear are
extremely vulnerable to infection considering the proximity of the ear
to the nose and mouth where infections are likely to occur. The
Eustachian tube allows fluid and harmful microorganisms to travel from
the mouth to the ear causing viral and bacterial infections.
Damage to the microscopic nerve endings of the nerve responsible for
hearing can also cause tinnitus. This is common in traumas to the head
and external structures of the ear where nerves can become damaged
permanently causing hearing loss as well. Aging also causes permanent
damage to the hearing nerves, chronic tinnitus and eventually hearing
Tumor growth can also cause tinnitus. Tumors and any abnormal growth on
or near the nerves for hearing can permanently damage hearing and cause
chronic tinnitus. This can be diagnosed through an MRI or magnetic
resonance imaging of the structures of the ear and the nerves. Prognosis
may depend on early detection of the disease.
7. Abnormality in the structures of the ear and the brain may also cause tinnitus and hearing loss. This can be determined through an MRI or other diagnostic procedure; only corrective surgery can remedy any symptoms of tinnitus.