Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing sound when there actually is no external sound that is being made. This is the most prevalent disorder that hearing healthcare professionals have encountered with their patients. Even though tinnitus is often lumped together with hearing loss, having tinnitus does not automatically mean that you also have hearing loss.
In order to hear, sounds are channeled through the outer and inner ear. Almost undetectable hair cells located inside the inner ear, transmit sound through auditory nerves and into the brain. Hearing loss may develop at any phase of this process.
Tinnitus can also develop at any phase of that same process. For instance, tinnitus can be caused by wax that impacts the ear canal. This can be the result of ear diseases affecting the middle ear, like fluid or Meniere’s Syndrome. It can be caused by damaged hair cells located in the inner ear, or improper firing of nerve cells in the brain.
Whatever is causing your tinnitus, is also probably what’s causing your hearing loss
Hearing loss and tinnitus are caused by the same impairment in our auditory system. There’s a high probability that if you have tinnitus, you also have hearing loss. It is commonly seen, but not in every patient.
This is because there are other causes for tinnitus that are not caused by complications associated with the ears. For example, medications (especially with high doses of aspirin), high blood pressure, heart disease, stress, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction can cause tinnitus.
If you, or a loved one have symptoms of tinnitus and/or hearing loss, contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.