What Are the First Signs of Tinnitus?

If you have been experiencing ringing in your ears or hearing loss, you may be suffering from what is known as tinnitus. You can get help from the otolaryngology team at the Carolina Hearing Institute in Columbia and Lugoff, SC, also serving Sumter, SC, where you will find tinnitus doctors Dr. Kathryn McGee and Dr. Kelly Long.

Types of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is known to come on slowly or suddenly. Generally, it occurs in older adults, although the condition can develop at any age.

There are two main types of tinnitus: subjective and objective. Subjective tinnitus is the most common and is the result of inner, outer, or middle ear damage. It is usually caused by loud noise exposure over an extended period of time. Objective tinnitus is less common and is the result of middle ear bone damage, muscle contractions, or a blood vessel issue.

Signs of Tinnitus

Although tinnitus is common, it is imperative you be able to recognize the signs of the condition as early as possible so you can get in to see a doctor like Dr. McGee or Dr. Long at South Carolina ENT in Columbia, Lugoff, SC, also serving Sumter, SC, for a tinnitus diagnosis. This will help prevent the condition from becoming permanent if it isn’t already.

The main signs to keep an eye out for include:

  • Constant Ringing – Usually, this ringing or buzzing will be heard when it is otherwise silent. It is a phantom noise and no one else will be able to hear it.
  • Loud Thumping – The loud thumping will be similar to that of a bass drum or guitar and will be on repeat. Again, it is a phantom noise that only you can hear.
  • Music – Some tinnitus conditions will result in you having musical hallucinations.
  • Hearing Loss – If you find that you are continuously asking others to repeat themselves or speak louder, this is a sign of tinnitus. Any noticeable change in your hearing should be checked out, especially if it lasts for a couple of weeks.

If you are experiencing any or all of the aforementioned symptoms, don’t hesitate to call 803-424-2208 and make an appointment with Dr. McGee or Dr. Long at the Carolina Hearing Insitute with locations in Columbia and Lugoff, SC, as well as Sumter, SC for a tinnitus diagnosis.

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