WHAT CAUSES TINNITUS?
As tinnitus isn’t an illness – it’s a non-specific symptom, there’s a wide range of factors that can trigger it:
- A bad cold or the ears being blocked with wax can cause temporary tinnitus.
- Exposure to loud sounds – like music concerts, listening to headphones at dangerously high levels for a long time or working in a noisy environment.
- Age-related hearing loss – as we get older, and begin to lose our hearing, we’re particularly prone to getting tinnitus.
- Head or ear injury, ear infection – including things like head trauma, whiplash and discomfort from ear syringing.
- Emotional stress – changes in your stress levels e.g. retirement, redundancy, or bereavement, depression, anxiety
- Changes in your general health – including sinus congestion, cardio vascular problems, diabetes, thyroid conditions, migraines, fibromyalgia and vertigo.
- Your medication – high-dose aspirin, certain chemotherapy and antiviral drugs, loop diuretics, chloroquine for malaria, and some antidepressants.
Most tinnitus is caused by a problem with the cochlea hair cells and nerves attached to the inner ear, when the perception of what should normally be a quiet sound in the ear is exaggerated and becomes predominant.