Tinnitus, more commonly known as ringing in the ears, is a condition that can happen to just about anyone. At times, it may be so mild that you barely notice it. At other times, the ringing can become so bad that it’s impossible to carry on with your daily activities. The most practical decision is to seek medical help when you notice the ringing. That sets the stage for some sort of tinnitus treatment that will help. As you decide whether to make the call, here are four questions that people often ask. The answers may be enough to convince you to make an appointment today.
Could Tinnitus Be a Sign of a Serious Hearing Problem?
Tinnitus can be a sign of a developing issue with the ears and your hearing. It can also be a warning sign of some other type of health issue. The bottom line is that you don’t know for sure unless you seek medical help and find out what’s causing the ringing.
When the ringing is an early warning sign of some developing health issue, undergoing an examination and identifying the underlying condition will likely lead to better odds of a cure. By allowing the ringing to continue, the risk of serious damage to your health is greater.
Is Tinnitus Always Permanent?
No. Tinnitus, especially when it’s a warning sign of some other health issue, often goes away once the underlying condition is successfully treated. Even when it’s a sign of an underlying chronic condition, successfully learning to manage that condition often results in a reduction in the ringing if not a complete cessation.
At other times, the tinnitus will be permanent. That’s most common when there’s been some damage to the ears. Even so, there may be treatments that make it possible to minimize the ringing and make it easier to live with the condition.
When Should I Seek Treatment?
The short answer is that you should seek treatment as soon as you become aware of the tinnitus. For those who want more specific examples, seek medical help when you first notice any ringing, even if it’s contained to one ear.
Assuming that you didn’t go immediately, do go when you notice that the ringing is beginning to interfere with your ability to manage daily or common tasks. That includes carrying on phone conversations at home or at work, being able to hear while in the classroom, or listening to music. If you need to increase the volume while watching a television program or streaming a movie, that’s also a sign you need to see a medical professional.
What Happens If I Don’t Seek Treatment?
Failing to seek treatment could mean allowing a developing medical condition to get worse over time. That could seriously compromise your general health in the years to come. Since tinnitus can be a sign of conditions that lead to strokes, the impact on your health in the future could be significant.
Even if the issue has to do with your ears, choosing to not seek any type of tinnitus treatment could result in a permanent loss of your hearing. It could be partial or it could be complete. If you’re fortunate, it will be possible to regain some degree of hearing ability by being fitted with hearing aids.
Don’t take the presence of tinnitus lightly. See a professional and find out what’s causing the ringing. Doing so could make all the difference to the future quality of your health.
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