I have had many people come to me asking whether the symptoms they are experiencing are in fact tinnitus. If the symptoms of tinnitus were restricted to a simple ringing in the ears, it would be fairly easy for someone to tell that they were affected by this condition. But the fact is that tinnitus can actually have symptoms that vary from person to person.
I know this first hand because I too suffered from tinnitus and never experienced the standard ringing in the ears. I know how frustrating and uncomfortable tinnitus can be, which is why I’ve dedicated years of my life to helping as many people as possible overcome their tinnitus symptoms.
Most Common Tinnitus Symptoms
- Ringing in the ears
- Humming noises
- Buzzing sounds
- Sizzling or cracking sounds
- The sound of running water from a faucet all the way up to Niagara Falls
- Repeating musical tones
- Whooshing sounds that are intermittent
- Continuos heavy sounds like a freight train going by
Less Common Tinnitus Symptoms
- Loss of balance
- Hearing loss
Sounds that no-one else can hear
Have you ever heard a ringing, whistling or other sound that no-one around you can hear? You may think that you are hearing a phantom whistle blowing. You may also hear sounds such as roaring, ringing, humming or clicking. It may be coming from one or both ears. You may be hearing noises intermittently or you may not. They may be a quiet, background distraction or they may be loud enough to drown out what is going on around you. The problem is that with tinnitus, usually only the person suffering from the condition is able to hear these sounds.
At their best, they may be quiet and only happen when there is no other sound. When the condition is at its most severe, the noises may be extremely distracting and partially or completely drown out any of the other sounds that are going on around you.
Where do these sounds come from?
Many of the people that I have helped have said that the sounds seem to come from inside their ears but there are actually four separate areas where the symptoms of tinnitus can originate from. Damage to the inner, middle or even outer ears can cause individuals to hear phantom noises. In addition, some cases may actually involve sounds that originate from inside of a person’s head. It all depends on the cause of the sound as some cases of tinnitus may be caused by damage to the ears and others to circulatory problems or the use of certain medications.
Quieter surroundings = louder noise
It is not uncommon for the symptoms of tinnitus to get worse when there is little to no surrounding noise. I was among the many tinnitus sufferers that realized my symptoms were much more noticeable when I was trying to sleep. Of course, when symptoms are at their worst, it does not matter whether there is surrounding noise or not as the ringing and humming can drown out noises even if those sounds are quite loud.
Should you see a doctor for your tinnitus?
Seeing a tinnitus specialist, like an audiologist or ENT, can be expensive. The necessary tests to determine the cause of your tinnitus are often cost prohibitive for people suffering from tinnitus. That’s why I recommend you first try one of the over the counter tinnitus treatments that are readily available. If those fail to help, then its time to seek the help of a trained tinnitus specialist.
With that said though, if you find that the sounds started after a respiratory or ear infection or they are accompanied by other symptoms such as hearing loss, or dizziness it is important that you be checked out by a specialist as soon as possible.
I know that it can be extremely uncomfortable to suffer from the symptoms of tinnitus. I have experienced them myself but I’m here to tell you that there is hope. I have managed to treat my own tinnitus symptoms successfully and hope to help you find relief from your symptoms as well.