Tinnitus: What is that ringing in my ears?


The VA describes tinnitus as a ringing, humming, buzzing, or other sounds in your head or ears that do not have an outside source. This condition leads many veterans to increased frustration and confusion as to why this is going on.

There are two types of tinnitus, subjective and objective. Subjective Tinnitus are sounds we hear are internal, and others cannot hear them. Objective tinnitus includes sounds that can be heard by others and should be checked by a healthcare specialist. The buzzing of tinnitus can be constant, come in waves, or in some cases, be temporary.

Tinnitus is generally a symptom of being exposed to loud noises, caused by injuries, or from different types of medication. To answer some of your tinnitus questions, we will cover: how to treat it, can it be temporary, what medicines can cause the problem, and will it eventually go away on its own. As always, send us a message if we can help!

Can tinnitus be temporary?

Certain situations that can cause temporary tinnitus, for example, would be attending a loud concert. The exposure to music can cause tinnitus that might last up to a couple of hours of days. Causes that might extend tinnitus duration could be from a wax buildup in your ears, dental conditions, or from head and neck injuries. Head and neck injuries can change the duration because it depends on how quickly someone can heal.

Can tinnitus go away on its own?

This is both yes and no. Tinnitus that was discussed as temporary will eventually go away on its own. Other types that are caused by long term noise exposure, unfortunately. Will not go away and can create other health-related conditions like somatic symptom disorder (SSD), insomnia, and migraine headaches. Since most forms of tinnitus will not go away on its own, you will need to be prepared for how it could impact your life.

Types of medications that can cause tinnitus

The American Tinnitus Association has provided a list of hundreds of medications and herbal supplements that can cause tinnitus. However, some of the most common drugs that can cause or worsen tinnitus are:

  • Aspirin and aspirin-containing products in high doses
  • Aminoglycoside Antibiotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Diuretics used to treat high blood pressure
  • If you start getting tinnitus while on a medication program, speak to your medical provider about the situation.

How to treat tinnitus

Currently, there are no known cures for tinnitus, but in rare cases, it can spontaneously stop. Here are some remedies that could help; however, always follow the direct advice of your doctor first:

Tinnitus caused by ear blockage

Home remedies could help by cleaning out the ear canal of waxy buildup and debris with warm water. Or, go to your medical specialist to have them do the cleaning for you to check and prevent infection.

Tinnitus caused by Dental care

If teeth and gum problems cause the tinnitus, then a trip to the dentist could help reduce or stop the noise.

Sound therapy, white noise, or nature sounds can assist in reducing tinnitus

Speak to an audiologist about this therapy. Therapy is determined on how loud the tinnitus is and will have to be adjusted to your case.

Hearing aids

Hearing loss can be another cause of tinnitus, and the use of hearing aids can reduce its effects. Because the two coincide, a person might notice the tinnitus first and not seek medical assistance. Be sure to speak to a professional if your ears start ringing.

Drug therapy

A doctor can provide low dose prescriptions to reduce the noise. Antidepressant and antianxiety drugs have been known to help and increase the quality of life for people who suffer from tinnitus.

Progressive tinnitus Management (PTM)

The VA has developed a program and workbook that helps veterans manage tinnitus. The program has more details about the problem and how to deal with it and is recommended. Download it here.

Exercise and meditation, exercise in any form contribute to your overall well being. Staying as healthy as you can help to keep you in a reasonable frame of mind.

Meditation can help you relax, and both of these things help to reduce blood pressure and stress, do what you can to help yourself.

Behavioral therapy

Because tinnitus has such an effect on our minds, we must learn to accept it. Seeing a mental health specialist can help with the side effects that can give you peace of mind. Having a noise in your head that never shuts off causes some serious problems.
If you have ringing in one or both ears, the single or bilateral tinnitus treatment would be the same as already addressed.

Tinnitus can be a VA disability claim

The VA rating for tinnitus can be either 0% or 10%. The first thing needed to file a VA claim is to have it diagnosed. For more information about submitting a claim read, The Dos and Don’ts of filing a Tinnitus claim. This article can help guide you through the process. Even if you worked in an office, you could be susceptible to tinnitus.

As a military professional, you have had to do live fire training as well as many other pieces of training with loud noise exposure. If you were deployed, you could have taken indirect fire or placed on convoy duty. Those activities and jobs have high noise exposure that could cause that ringing in your ears.

Tinnitus is no joke, especially considering the secondary-conditions which could be caused by it. The constant buzzing interferes when you are talking to people, and you may have difficulty hearing and participate in the discussion. This can lead to withdrawing from social contact.

Seeking treatment to find out if it is temporary and will go away on its own should be a top priority. When it is a temporary condition caused by medications or dental issues, your healthcare provider should be able to give you personalized recommendations. When tinnitus is of the permanent type, learning how to treat it to reduce and cope with the symptoms will be necessary. Get your butt to the doctor and watch the video below to learn how to file this claim!

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