Constant ringing or buzzing in your ears may make it difficult to concentrate or sleep well at night. Fortunately, your St. Peters, St. Louis, and Bridgeton, MO, ENT, Dr. Paul Burk, offers tinnitus treatments that can help reduce or mask those annoying sounds.
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus is characterized by hissing, ringing, buzzing, ringing or roaring sounds in your ears. The symptoms may increase or decrease at various points during the day. Tinnitus can be caused by:
- Exposure to Loud Noises: People who work around loud machinery or equipment are more likely to develop tinnitus. Exposure to any noisy setting, even for a short time, can be a factor.
- Earbud Use: Turning the volume up too high when you wear earbuds can cause tinnitus in some cases.
- Earwax: A buildup of earwax may be responsible for the sounds you hear.
- Age: Aging not only increases your risk of hearing loss but also makes it more likely that you'll develop tinnitus.
- Blood Flow Problems: You may be able to actually hear the blood flowing your arteries and veins if you have high blood pressure, hardening or narrowing of the arteries or other issues that affect blood flow.
- Diseases and Infections: Tinnitus can be a symptom of a middle ear infection but may also occur if you have Meniere's disease or temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ).
- Drug Side Effects: Side effects from diuretics, high doses of aspirin, antibiotics, cancer medications, diuretics, antidepressants, and other medications may be to blame for your symptoms.
- Other Factors: Tinnitus may also occur due to injuries, tumors, or stress.
How can my ENT help me?
Treatment varies depending on your diagnosis. If your symptoms are caused by TMJ, high blood pressure, or a middle ear infection, treating those health issues may relieve your symptoms. Impacted ear wax can easily be removed at your St. Peters, Des Peres, or De Paul ENT's office. If tinnitus is a side effect of a medication, trying a different drug can be helpful.
If your symptoms aren't due to an underlying health condition, your ENT can offer devices and suggestions that can make the noise less obvious, such as in-ear masking devices or notched-music and modified sound devices. Hearing aids can be helpful if tinnitus is related to hearing loss.
Have tinnitus symptoms affected the quality of your life? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Burk by calling (636) 936-5002 for the St. Peters, MO, office, (314) 821-5002 for the Des Peres office, or (314) 770-0708 for the De Paul office.