ZocdocAnswersWhy are my ears ringing?

Question

Why are my ears ringing?

Never been around loud sounds in my life really, and I?m only 22, but now I have a weird ringing in both of my ears. It comes and goes but when it is there it is super annoying. Why are my ears ringing? Is there something stuck inside my head or something?

Answer

Sorry to hear that you have noticed ringing in your ears that is bothering you. Tinnitus, the medical term for ringing in your ears, has numerous different causes. You are correct in bringing up noise exposure as a potential source of tinnitus (and actually one of the most common causes of tinnitus). I recommend that you make an appointment with an otolarygologist (ENT or Ears Nose Throat) physician to get your ears evaluated. They will likely order an audiogram (hearing test) as part of the work-up of your tinnitus. Often times the cause for tinnitus is unknown, but there are a few causes that your ENT will want to make sure are not contributing. Things such as an acoustic neuroma (benign tumor on the hearing nerve) or a middle ear mass can potentially cause unilateral tinnitus, although rare. Sometimes tinnitus can be associated with dizziness or vertigo, so they will likely ask you questions about that. Unfortunately since the cause of tinnitus is not identified a significant portion of the time, there is no "cure" for the ringing. With that being said, there are a number of different things that can be done to help cope with tinnitus, and help mask the ringing. Although bothersome, tinnitus is rarely dangerous, although it is still worth getting checked out by an ENT. Best of luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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