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The Buzz About Tinnitus

Imagine that quick zip you hear when a fly buzzes just a little too close to your ear, sending a sharp ping to your nerves. Now imagine that this buzzing doesn’t go away, even after you wave your hands wildly around your head to ward off the perceived insect.

For the 10 percent of adults in the UK who suffer from tinnitus, this is not an unrealistic scenario, and it is just as frustrating as it sounds. Tinnitus can develop when damage occurs to the inner ear cells or to the nerves that communicate sounds to the brain.

Those with tinnitus hear persistent and continuous noises, such as buzzing, ringing, clicking or hissing, even when the area around them is silent or quiet. These noises can be low- or high-pitched and can be present in one or both ears. For many people, this incessant noise can grate on them over time, causing them to experience fatigue, depression, memory problems, anxiety and general irritability.

Though there is no cure for tinnitus, there are known factors that will increase an individual’s risk of developing the condition. By learning about and staying aware of the risk factors for tinnitus, you can monitor and help promote the health of your ears.

Lifestyle Risk Factors

One of the primary causes of tinnitus is exposure to loud noises. Your ear canal has tiny, sensory hairs that catch the vibrations made from sounds and then relay this information to the auditory processing center in your brain. If exposed to excessively loud noises, these hairs can bend or even break off.

Additionally, smoking and cardiovascular issues and diseases can increase your risk of developing this condition.

Natural Risk Factors

Other risk factors, such as age and biological sex, are less preventable but still important to be aware of. As you get older, the nerve fibers in your ears begin to lose functionality, which can lead to tinnitus as well as general hearing loss. Additionally, males tend to experience tinnitus on a much larger scale than women.

If you are suffering from tinnitus or just want more information to stay informed and prepared, contact the Seaford Hearing Centre in East Sussex.