In the same way a ringing bell can sound an alarm, ringing in the ears can be a signal to pay attention to your health. What is the ear ringing meaning? Ringing in the ear, or medically known as tinnitus, stars in the inner ear. Damage or loss of sensory hair cells causes the ringing in most cases.
Ear ringing can appear in different ways. Sometimes it is sounds related to the ocean, or ringing, or clicking. The sound can appear in one or both ears. It can be constant or occasional. There is also a difference in loudness. It can be soft or loud. In most cases, patients notice the ringing at night.
According to the National Institute of Deafness and Hearing Disorders, one in ten people in the US has tinnitus. The condition is not life-threatening. It is more of a symptom of other problems than a disease.
What is tinnitus?
We can describe the condition as a sensation of hearing ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling, or other sounds in the ear. The noise can manifest in different ways and vary in loudness. In most cases, the condition is worse when the background noise is low.
This might come as a surprise, but the condition is very common. That is why we want to know what is the ear ringing meaning. The condition affects more than 50 million adults in the US. For some of them, it is more of an annoyance. In severe cases, however, tinnitus can cause difficulty in concentration and sleeping. And in the most severe cases, tinnitus can interfere with your work and professional relationships.
Tinnitus ringing cannot cause hearing loss. Yes, we can associate it with hearing loss. In the same way, hearing loss doesn’t cause tinnitus. Some people with the condition have no difficulty hearing.
In most cases, infections and blockages in the ear cause tinnitus. Once you treat the cause, the tinnitus disappears.
What causes tinnitus?
The most common cause of tinnitus is long exposure to loud sounds. More than 90% of patients report a high level of noise-induced hearing loss. Loud noise can cause permanent damage to the sound-sensitive cells in your inner ear. Single and sudden exposure to extremely loud noise can also result in tinnitus.
Another common cause is earwax. Your body produces earwax normally to trap dirt and protect your ears. But if you do not clean your ears and wash away earwax, there might be a problem. When earwax piles up, the result might be ringing in the ear. Do not worry, a doctor can remove the buildup easily.
For some people, the hearing gets worse as they age. The hearing loss starts at 60. It can affect both ears. You will notice the problem with high-frequency sounds.
Some medicines and OTC drugs can also trigger ear ringing. They can also make it louder. The list includes aspirin, diuretics, NSAIDs, antibiotics, antidepressants, and cancer drugs. The stronger dose has a higher risk of tinnitus.
When you have a cold, you can notice you have tinnitus as well. That is because ear and sinus infection can result in ear ringing. Pressure in the sinuses can cause problems with your ear. The good news is it doesn’t last long. The ear ringing will disappear after a week or two.
You can also worsen the condition with your lifestyle choices. That includes drinking alcohol, drinking caffeinated drinks, smoking cigarettes, and eating spicy foods.
Symptoms of tinnitus
The most obvious symptom is noise in the ears. The noise can manifest as roaring, buzzing, hissing, ringing, or whistling.
The problem is, only the person who has tinnitus can hear the noise. A doctor can hear the ringing as well as using a stethoscope. Hopefully, now you understand ears ringing meaning.
What Can You Do?
In some cases, tinnitus will go away on its own. But that is not always the case. There is no cure for the condition. But there are things you can do to cope with the problem and stop ringing ears.
- Clear your ears of wax, but do it at a doctor’s office
- Create a background hum at night to cancel out the sound in your ear
- You can use a cool mist humidifier in the winter to create the “white noise”
- Play gentle music to give your brain something else to focus on
- Avoid caffeine, as it raises your blood pressure and makes tinnitus more noticeable
- Try to avoid taking too much ibuprofen
- Try acupuncture and other alternative medical approaches
- Wear earplugs to prevent further damage
Surprising Spiritual Meanings of Ear Ringing
We talked what is ear ringing meaning in medical terms. But there are also some spiritual meanings to ear ringing. Here are the three most common.
Someone is talking about you
Think of it as gossip. When you hear ringing in the ears, it might be that someone is talking about you. The high-pitched ringing sound is a sign of relationship problems. The noise you hear is from your guardian angel to be careful. You do not want to reveal too much to others.
Some people believe that the ringing ear is someone in Heaven talking about you.
You will receive a spiritual gift
Ringing in the ear can sometimes be a positive spiritual sign. You are about to receive a religious or mystical experience. In most cases, this is the spiritual gift of healing.
Change is coming soon
You are about to experience a change in your life. The change might be positive or negative. Watch for other messages from your guardian angel. These signs might reveal what type of changes. For example, pay attention to repeating number sequences or angel numbers.
If you are going through financial troubles, ear ringing might be a sign things will be better.
When to See a Doctor?
If the ringing lasts for a few weeks, it is time to check with your primary care physician. He might direct you to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. There, you will go through a hearing test. The test will help doctors diagnose the problem.
When you experience dizziness alongside ear ringing, visit a doctor right away. The same applies to symptoms of vertigo.
Depending on the severity of the problem, your doctor might prescribe cognitive behavioral therapy. There, you can learn to change your reaction to tinnitus.