Tinnitus is an annoying condition in which there is noise or ringing in the ears, yet there is no sound present. For some people, tinnitus comes and goes; for others, it is a constant irritant.

Symptoms of Tinnitus

The sounds of tinnitus include ringing, roaring, buzzing, hissing, and clicking. It may range from a dull roar to a high screech, and may be in just one ear – or both. It can be so loud that it interferes with concentration and sleep. It can drown out other external sounds hindering daily life and conversation.

There are two types of tinnitus:

  • Subjective Tinnitus: These noises are only perceived; others cannot hear these noises. This type of tinnitus is usually related to hearing loss and is the most common type of tinnitus.
  • Objective Tinnitus: Noises are audible to both the patient and to others. The patient’s blood flow and musculature systems are producing these sounds. Objective tinnitus is less common.

What causes tinnitus?

  • Age-related hearing loss– which tends to be in both ears and involves the loss of high-frequency sounds. Age-related hearing loss is why tinnitus is so common among those over age 60.
  • Noise-induced hearing loss – exposure to loud noise which, over time, damages the auditory system, leading to hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • Middle ear blockage due to wax, infection, foreign object or debris
  • Inner ear damage
  • Sinus pressure and nasal congestion
  • Medications – Many prescription medications have tinnitus as a side effect, although it is usually short-lived. When the patient stops taking the medication, tinnitus often subsides. Some drugs may cause permanent tinnitus. A list of common tinnitus causing drugs are listed below:
    • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Antibiotics
    • Cancer medications, such as chemotherapy
    • Diuretics (water pills)
  • Underlying medical conditions can also lead to tinnitus such as:
    • Thyroid abnormalities
    • anemia
    • Autoimmune Disorders
    • Lyme Disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Psychiatric Disorders – depression, anxiety, stress

Treatment Options

  • Hearing Aids: Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss. Hearing aids can have a very positive effect on providing relief from tinnitus. The aids improve reception of external noise and mask the annoying perceived sound.
  • Lipoflavanoids: An over the counter B-complex vitamin proven to reduce some forms of tinnitus
  • Medication Substitutions: A careful review of your list of current medications may prove beneficial. A simple substitution for another effective class of medicine may resolve the symptoms. Prior to ever discontinuing a medication, one must consult their prescribing physician.

When to see a doctor

If suffering from tinnitus, consult your physician.  A detailed history and physical exam may prove beneficial in alleviating your symptoms.  A trained health care professional can perform audiological tests to measure the extent of hearing loss and allow for a better understanding of your condition.

Contact our office:

To find out more about our Tinnitus services, visit Dr. Friedman’s office locations at 7600 E. Camelback Road, Suite #7, Scottsdale, Arizona 85251 and 903 East Highway 260, Suite #3, Payson, Arizona 85541, or book an appointment by calling 480-664-0125 today.