Is This Ringing in my Ears Permanent?

By: Kelly Warf, Au.D.
Sanjeev Balamohan, M.D.

Ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus [TIN-NUH-TUS or TIN-NIGHT-US], is experienced by over 50 million Americans. Tinnitus is the perception of sound without an external source. But is this ringing temporary or here to stay? The first step is an ear evaluation to determine the cause. An evaluation from an ENT physician along with a hearing evaluation by an Audiologist can identify the etiology of the ringing. If the tinnitus is due to earwax impaction or an ear infection, then an ENT physician can treat the problem.

Most cases of tinnitus are due to hearing loss in the inner ear. This means the inner ear sensory hair cells have been damaged due to aging, loud noise exposure, or medications. This type of hearing loss and tinnitus may be best managed with a hearing aid. If this is the cause of your tinnitus, then an audiologist will discuss the appropriate hearing aid and features for you. If the tinnitus sounds like your heartbeat or is experienced in only one ear then further testing may be recommended to determine the cause. In rare cases, a serious condition can be the cause of tinnitus.

An ear and hearing evaluation is the first step to determine what is causing the ringing and what treatment options are recommended. Call our office today if you are experiencing tinnitus 847-685-1000.

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