5 Myths About Tinnitus

a woman experiencing slight ear discomfort

Tinnitus is a condition that affects many Americans. The US Centers for Disease Control estimate that approximately 50 million Americans experience tinnitus. This means that around 15 percent of the American population will experience some form of tinnitus in their lifetime. Tinnitus is one of the most common health conditions in the US, so if you have tinnitus, you certainly are not alone.

People experience tinnitus as a noise that they hear either in their ears, in their head, or both. While the sound may be apparent to the person with tinnitus, other people will not be able to hear it. This is known as subjective tinnitus.

Despite being a relatively common condition, there is a lot of mystery and many myths surrounding tinnitus. These myths can be unhelpful for people that have the condition as they may prevent them from seeking treatment. Here are some of the myths that you may have heard about tinnitus and the facts about the condition:

Myth 1: Tinnitus is an ear disease

Most people think of tinnitus as a disease in the ear. However, tinnitus is not a disease at all, but merely the result of another underlying health condition. While you may experience tinnitus as a sound in your ears, this doesn’t mean that tinnitus originates in your ears. Tinnitus can occur due to a range of other conditions, from neck and jaw issues to sinus pressure. Tinnitus may also develop as a side effect of certain medications.

It is vital to schedule a consultation with an ENT doctor if you begin experiencing tinnitus to establish the underlying cause and to treat it.

Myth 2: Tinnitus is a ringing sound in the ears

Tinnitus is often experienced as a ringing in the ears, but this is not always the case. Some people feel that the noise of tinnitus originates from their head rather than their ears. 

Many people think of tinnitus simply as a ringing in the ears, but people can experience a variety of other sounds with tinnitus. Tinnitus can also sound like buzzing, whistling, or even a whooshing noise. Some people experience tinnitus as a musical sound in their ears. 

Myth 3: Tinnitus only affects older people

It is often believed that tinnitus only affects older people, but this is not true. As a wide range of factors cause tinnitus, it is experienced by people of all ages. Age alone is not a primary factor for an increased risk of tinnitus. This is because it can occur as a result of other medical conditions, a side effect of medication, or as a result of loud noises. 

Although tinnitus can occur in people of any age, it is common in males aged between 60 and 69 years. The reason that the condition is more common in this age group could be a result of age-related hearing loss. However, anyone can develop tinnitus in their lifetime, regardless of their age.

Myth 4: Tinnitus is permanent

Tinnitus can be a permanent condition, but this is not always the case. How long your tinnitus lasts usually is down to the original condition that caused it. If you began experiencing tinnitus after being exposed to loud noise, such as at a music concert, you might find that the tinnitus stops completely after a day or two. If an ear wax blockage causes your tinnitus, you could see that it improves quickly after having the ear wax removed. If your tinnitus is the result of age-related hearing loss, it may be chronic, but there are treatments available to lessen the symptoms.

As there are various different causes of tinnitus, it is crucial to get it checked by an ENT doctor to establish the cause and how it can be treated.

Myth 5: Tinnitus will become worse over time

Tinnitus can grow worse over time, but this is not the case for everyone. Tinnitus is not always a permanent, chronic condition. An ENT doctor will be able to assess your tinnitus and suggest a treatment that could significantly improve your tinnitus. There are many treatments available for tinnitus that can help lessen its impact on your life.

Scheduling a consultation with an ENT doctor is the first step towards improving the condition. The ENT doctor will be able to assess your tinnitus and then advise how it can be improved. 

If you have tinnitus, Vero ENT Associates are here to help. Contact Vero ENT Associates to schedule an appointment and for more information. Call today at 772-563-0015