Millions of people go to bed each night with a constant buzzing or ringing in their ears. So what’s the best way to get to sleep when you have tinnitus? Hearing noises that other people around you don’t hear can be frustrating and might lead you to question your sanity.
Still, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going crazy. Instead, you might be suffering from tinnitus. Also known as ear buzzing, or ear ringing, tinnitus is an increasingly common condition that affects more than 45 million adults in the United States alone.
Tinnitus affects people by varying degrees. For some the constant buzzing can be almost unbearable burden; for others the symptoms are not as severe and the ringing or buzzing noises can vary from person to person in terms of pitch, tone, volume and even the type of sounds.
Some people only hear sporadic buzzing, whistling, hissing, chirping or other noises. For others, the noises are coming from inside of the body and directly follow a person’s heartbeat, which is called pulsatile tinnitus.
What exactly is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is not a disease itself, rather a symptom of another health problem. Although it can be caused by many different issues, the most common cause is when there’s a problem with the ear itself.
Problems in the ear canal, a damaged eardrum or inner ear bones, alters the way that the electrical signals are sent to the brain, which in turn affects the way our brain processes sound. Other problems, whether it’s a sinus infection, jaw injury, sleep apnea or reduced blood flow in the neck, can become a trigger for tinnitus.
Hearing loud sounds can trigger tinnitus almost instantaneously. A loud concert causes buzzing in your ears the following day, which is a perfect example how ear damage alters our sound processing systems.
Luckily, the condition is not