As my left ear ringing got worse, I knew there was something wrong.It all started six months ago when I was applying to different universities. I was sitting on my laptop when suddenly I started hearing my left ear ringing. I ignored it at first, but with time, it worsened. Persistent headaches accompanied the constant ringing in one ear only. It was hard to function properly, and I used to think to myself, “What is this? Why is this happening? What should I do?” I tried talking to my parents, but they did not take me seriously and told me that it might be due to stress and overthinking. Until one night, the ringing was so annoying and loud that I wanted to rip my ear out. I remember yelling, “ Make it stop! Make it stop!”
I decided to seek help and discovered Your Doctors Online.Desperate for help, I searched for my symptoms over the internet and discovered Your Doctors Online. Dr. Fariah Hanif took my history and reassured me that we would find a solution. She questioned me regarding different triggers. How does the left ear ringing start? Does it get worse or better over time? Etc. After reviewing my history, she asked me if I had a family history of blood pressure, and I told her yes, my mother had blood pressure issues and was taking medications for it. To my shock, Dr. Fariah Hanif told me to get my blood pressure checked as soon as possible. I was a little confused as the ringing was in my ear. “How does that justify the constant ringing in one ear only? Did I waste my time?” I thought to myself.
To my surprise, the ER doctors associated the left ear ringing with hypertension as well.Determined to prove the doctor wrong, I went to the ER and asked the nurse to check my blood pressure. To my astonishment, they told me it was quite high and gave me medications immediately to lower my blood pressure. As soon as I got home, I told Dr. Hanif that my blood pressure was 160/100 mmHg and gave me medications for hypertension. Dr. Hanif then guided me that high blood pressure can cause blood to move through veins and arteries forcefully. This can lead to ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus. She further told me that I needed to get certain blood tests done to rule out any other underlying conditions because I was young and had a family history of high blood pressure. To do this, I had to report to my nearest hospital and see a medical specialist.
Without Your Doctors Online, I wouldn’t have discovered the cause of left ear ringing.The team at Your Doctors Online has supported me so much since then. I am mentally at peace, knowing that I can visit an online doctor without hesitation any time of the day. My life has taken a 360-degree turn, thanks to Your Doctors Online. Nowadays, I visit my medical specialist monthly and monitor my blood pressure daily while staying in touch with the team at Your Doctors Online.
Information on Tinnitus added by Your Doctors Online Team:Older people, especially those working or living in a noisy area for years, often complain of ringing in the ear. Tinnitus or ringing in the ear is the sensation of buzzing, humming, hissing sound in the ear without it being from an outside source.
PrevalenceIn the United States, almost 50 million adults are affected by tinnitus. Almost 7.1 million people are affected by tinnitus in the UK.
What causes tinnitus?
- Almost 90% of cases of tinnitus are due to frequent exposure to loud sounds. Noise puts severe stress on the auditory cells of the ear, thus damaging them and causing hearing loss as well. That is why many cases of noise-induced tinnitus show moderate to varying levels of hearing loss.
- Sometimes an infection of the ear may cause tinnitus in that ear.
- Tumor of the ear, a buildup of ear wax, and any other condition obstructing the auditory pathway may cause tinnitus.
- Drugs like aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, some antibiotics, and chemotherapy drugs may trigger or worsen tinnitus.
- Destruction of inner cells of cochlea due to continuous low frequency (loud) sounds.
- High blood pressure leading to hypertension is also a contributing factor in causing tinnitus.
Hypertension induced tinnitusAnother cause of tinnitus is higher than normal blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are at great risk of tinnitus. The reason for this is that when the pressure of blood is higher than normal, the force put on the delicate blood vessels of the auditory system increases. Therefore, the patient feels a beating or pulsating sound, i.e. tinnitus.
DiagnosisTinnitus itself does not cause hearing loss; however, the loud sounds causing tinnitus cause hearing loss if neglected. Diagnosis is made keeping in view the social and occupational history of the patient to see. If tinnitus is not caused by noise, the doctor may ask for the medical history of the patient in order to find out any circulatory disorder (high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, etc.).
Treatment for ringing in ears:Tinnitus is not a serious condition, and one can experience it on and off. The treatment of tinnitus is not well defined till the moment and depends entirely upon the underlying cause. Once the underlying cause is found, it is treated accordingly.
- If tinnitus is due to the accumulation of ear wax, the doctor will recommend ear cleaning.
- If tinnitus is due to damage to blood vessels, the doctor may recommend drugs to control blood pressure or any surgical procedure if needed.
- Noise-induced tinnitus may be rectified by using hearing aids as the auditory system is not working properly.
- Drugs like antibiotics, aspirin, ibuprofen may cause tinnitus. In that case, the doctor recommends cutting off the very drug that is causing tinnitus.
- Masking devices are also used for patients with tinnitus. These devices produce certain sound waves that reduce the symptoms of tinnitus.
- White noise-creating machines are also a source of comfort for people with severe tinnitus as they produce certain noises that aid in fall asleep. These devices relieve the ringing sounds in the ear to an appreciable extent.
How to prevent tinnitus?
- If you are an inhabitant of a noisy area or if your workplace is quite noisy, your ears are in extreme danger of hearing loss and tinnitus. In order to protect your ear from auditory losses, make sure to wear an over-the-ear protection device that will mask low-frequency sound waves.
- Please do not listen to music at high volume as it badly damages your ears.
- Check for the symptoms of hypertension regularly.
- Reduce alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine consumption as these cause high blood pressure leading to tinnitus.
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