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This noise you hear inside your head may be tinnitus. It is mostly described as ringing but also can be described as buzzing, crickets, locusts, hissing or humming. It is usually caused by an underlying condition.

Tinnitus noises are usually described as being very high pitched and only the person experiencing it can hear it. It may be heard in one or both ears and, at times, can become so loud it may interfere with the ability to understand speech.

Tinnitus can be caused by hearing loss, ear infections, blockage of the ear canal and certain medications. Other causes include TMJ disorders, benign tumors (acoustic neuromas) that develop along the auditory pathway, Eustachian tube dysfunction, diabetes, lupus, arthritis and migraines.

Tinnitus can affect your quality of life because hearing this noise may lead to fatigue, stress, depression, anxiety, sleep problems and problems with family or work life.

Some types of tinnitus can be prevented if precautions are taken.  Hearing loss is a known cause of tinnitus, and if you are exposed to loud noises either at work or for fun, you need to wear hearing protection to help dampen this noise. Regular exercise and eating correctly can also help with tinnitus. Reducing your caffeine, alcohol and nicotine will help as well.

If you are experiencing tinnitus and want to find out more, please call Integrity Hearing Center (Troy 636-528-4433 and Hermann 636-728-8840) and schedule an appointment for a hearing evaluation with Dr. Gessert.