Ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus, is usually not serious. It occurs during a cold or after prolonged exposure to very loud noises. It usually disappears without specific treatment after a few hours.

Ringing sounds in the ears is the sensation of hearing any type of sound, even when in a quiet environment, and it can affect only one or both ears at the same time and in most cases, there is a cure.

The buzzing sound can also be due to infections or auditory tumors. It is important that if symptoms do not disappear after 2 days or appear more than once a month, you ought to go to an otolaryngologist. This doctor can come up with diagnosis and perform the appropriate treatment, if necessary.

Reasons for ringing in ears (tinnitus)

Ringing in the ears is usually caused by prolonged exposure to noise or when you have otitis, which is an infection in the inner ear. But, the buzz may also arise in situations such as:

  • Hearing loss caused by aging, being more common after the age of 60;
  • Otosclerosis, which occurs when there is hardening of the bones of the ear;
  • Tumor in the brain or in the ear, affecting the auditory nerve;
  • Excess wax in the ear;
  • Circulation problems;
  • Psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression;
  • Accumulation of cholesterol in the blood vessels;
  • Hypertension.

Besides these causes, ringing in the ears can also arise in more rare cases such as Ménière’s disease, malfunctioning of the jaw joint or after trauma to the head and neck, which can affect the nerves responsible for the hearing.

Medications that cause ringing in the ears

Ringing in the ears may arise as a side effect of some medications such as:

  • Aspirin in very high doses;
  • Antibiotics such as polymyxin B, erythromycin, neomycin and vancomycin;
  • Medicines to fight cancer such as mechlorethamine and vincristine;
  • Diuretics such as bumetanide, ethacrynic acid or furosemide.
  • Antidepressants such as Fluoxetine or Sertraline.

Generally, the higher the dose of these medications, the greater the buzz and, in most cases, the noise disappears when you stop using these medications.

Symptoms of tinnitus (ringing sound in the ears)

The main symptoms of ringing in the ears are:

  • Sound type a beep;
  • Noise similar to a waterfall or a cicada;
  • Constant chirping;
  • Sensation of having ears covered.

This sound is only perceived by the individual and can not be measured, it can be continuous or with intervals and tends to get worse in case of anxiety or stress. In addition to this, the buzzing may arise associated with dizziness and lack of balance.

Ringing in the ears is the most frequent problem in the elderly, patients with circulation problems or smokers.

A diagnosis is made through the internal observation of the ears by an otolaryngologist. The doctor may also consider it necessary to perform imaging such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the cause and severity of the problem.

Treatment for ringing in the ears

To treat ringing in the ears, it is necessary to know the cause of the buzzing, which may require the removal of wax by a doctor, medications such as antibiotics to treat the infection, the use of hearing aids or surgery on the ear. It may also be necessary to perform acupuncture or music therapy to help decrease the buzzing sensation.

In case there is a buzzing in the ears after a music concert where the volume of the sound equipment was very high, it is best to find a quiet place and stay there, as this will help the body to get used to it and , in a short time, the buzz tends to disappear. More information on how to treat tinnitus in: Treatment for ringing in the ears.

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