We often take our hearing for granted. After all, you can’t feel your ears on the side of your head unless you reach up and physically touch them. The only time that it may cross your mind to worry about your hearing is if suddenly, you can’t do it anymore. You may notice a decline in your hearing as you get older, particularly as it’s a common symptom among the aged community.

One thing you may notice sooner than hearing loss, though, is tinnitus. It’s a condition also known as ‘ringing in the ears,’ but it has also been known to sound like buzzing, hissing and even similar to white noise. You may be waiting on your appointment with an audiologist to confirm, but there are plenty of things that you should know about tinnitus, so that you can decide whether this is what you’re dealing with.

It’s supposedly mild

Tinnitus is known as a mild condition in the sense that you’re not going to hear clanging in your ears. You’re also not going to feel pain with it. However, while in physical symptoms it’s mild, it’s also something that can drive you to distraction and make you feel like you’re going nuts. Social interaction can suffer and end up with you feeling isolated. It can even lead you into a depression. There’s nothing mild about that.

Tinnitus has several causes

Your audiologist will be able to tell you that tinnitus is not going to cause any hearing disorders in the medical books. However, tinnitus is a side effect of other medical issues and it can go alongside a decrease in hearing, dizziness and pressure in the inner ear. Some of the causes include a buildup of wax, which will need to be cleared, constant exposure to loud noises, which causes damage to the small hairs in the inner ear and trauma to the head.

You should book a hearing test

If you think you may be suffering tinnitus, you need to speak to an audiologist. They are trained to diagnose, assess and treat the condition and tell you how you came about developing tinnitus in the first place. They’ll take you through a questionnaire to get a background on your health and then they’ll perform some painless tests over an hour or so to determine if there are underlying hearing issues causing the persistent sound that you can hear.

You can get help to fix it

You may be under stress or extreme fatigue, and if so, you may notice your tinnitus is exacerbated. Speaking to your audiologist about your lifestyle while you’re talking about the things that you can hear can help you to get some support for the stress that you are under. You don’t have to settle in silence when there is help there for you.

Tinnitus is not a simple condition to manage and it can really have an impact on your personal life. Keep up with your hearing appointments to be able to catch any conditions early.