Tinnitus can be more than just a ringing in the ears. There are other sounds that may be associated with tinnitus. Sometimes the type of sound you hear will be a great indication of what is actually causing your tinnitus. This is important because once you fix the underlying cause of your tinnitus then you will have cured that annoying noise in your ears. So what exactly does tinnitus sound like?
Tinnitus can produce a high pitched ringing sound. This type of tinnitus sound can be caused by several different underlying conditions. If you are exposed to a very loud noise, or if you suffer a blow to the ear you will hear that high pitched sound for a few hours. If an injury produces a hearing loss, the high pitched sound may be permanent. This is also true for those who have had long term noise exposure or age related hearing loss. The only hope for a relief from tinnitus related to hearing loss would be a hearing aid.
Another cause of the high pitched tinnitus sound is an acoustic neuroma. This is actually a tumor that attaches itself to the nerves in the inner ear. This tumor is not cancerous, but if left alone to grow it can cause devastating results. As it gets larger it becomes more difficult to surgically remove it because it attaches itself to some of the major nerves that control facial movements, hearing and balance. It it is left untreated it can eventually grow so large that it will invade the area of the brain where the brain stem is located. The brain stem is responsible for controlling things like heart rate and breathing. If the brain stem becomes compromised death will occur. Since an acoustic neuroma usually develops on one side of the head you will only experience the ringing in one ear.
Low pitched ringing is another type of tinnitus sound. This can be caused by Meneier’s disease, which is a disorder of the inner ear. Doctors are not sure what causes Meniere’s disease, but it can become severe enough to be debilitating. The low pitched ringing sound is just one symptom of Meniere’s. The other symptoms can include dizziness, hearing loss nausea and vomiting.
A low pitched ringing tinnitus sound can also be caused by stiff inner ear bones. This sound may be constant, or it may come and go. The medical term for this condition is called otosclerosis.
A sharp clicking sound that comes and goes is also considered to be tinnitus. This can be caused by muscle contractures that occur around your ear. Sometimes if your jaw is misaligned it will cause this very loud clicking sound. The good thing about this type of tinnitus sound is your doctor will usually be able to hear it also.
So as you can see there are more than just one type of tinnitus sound. It is very important that you pay attention to the type of sound you are experiencing. Keep a record of when it happens, how long it lasts and if only one or both ears are affected. This will be valuable information to help you and your doctor figure out what is causing your tinnitus.