Tinnitus – the sound of ringing or buzzing in your ears with no outside source – is most often caused by damage to the inner ear. The most common causes of tinnitus are older age, exposure to loud noises or a buildup of earwax in the inner ear. However, there are some other causes of tinnitus that aren’t always considered.
Lesser Known Causes of Tinnitus
Some less common causes of tinnitus include:
- TMJ Disorders: The temperomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint just in front of your ears, where you jawbone meets your skull. Problems with your TMJ can lead to tinnitus.
- Head or Neck Injuries: Trauma to the head or neck can cause damage to the ear, or to the area of the brain where sound is processed. Both of these can lead to tinnitus.
- Acoustic Neuroma: This is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor that develops on the nerve between your brain and your inner ear. It often causes tinnitus in just one ear.
- Meniere’s Disease: This disorder is caused by abnormal fluid pressure in the inner ear. This abnormal pressure can cause tinnitus.
Blood Vessel Disorders
Pulsatile tinnitus is the type of tinnitus that is caused by a blood vessel disorder. Though rare, tinnitus can be caused by one of these conditions:
- Atherosclerosis: As cholesterol builds up in blood vessels, it is harder for blood to flow through. When this happens in blood vessels in and around your inner ears, tinnitus can occur.
- High Blood Pressure: The faster blood moves through blood vessels, the more noticeable tinnitus can become.
- Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM): This condition is when the connections between veins and arteries are abnormal, and it can sometimes lead to tinnitus.
Tinnitus can have a huge impact your quality of life. But there are treatments available. Hearing aids, counseling and sound therapy devices can all be used to diminish the effects of tinnitus. Contact us to discuss the treatment options that are best for you.