Did you know? About one in 10 people in the U.S. experience tinnitus—a ringing in the ears without an identifiable outside source—regularly.

Tinnitus ranges from occasional and mild to frequent and severe. The Hearing Health Foundation reports that up to 16 million people in the U.S. have sought medical help for their tinnitus. Along with hearing loss, tinnitus is one of the most frequent disabilities service people experience.

While tinnitus is common, it’s no fun to live with. Our team at AFC Urgent Care Knoxville would like to share some information about causes and treatments for tinnitus.

What Causes Tinnitus?

Sometimes, tinnitus is inherited, or comes about as a result of aging. Usually, tinnitus is a result of damage to the hair cells (cells that transform sound into electrical signals to the brain) in the inner ear.

Viruses and infections in the ears may result in tinnitus. So can certain medications. Often, though, a single trauma or ongoing exposure to loud noise levels can cause tinnitus. Professions that can lead to tinnitus include ambulance driver, heavy machinery operator, military and musician.

Everyday Sources of Dangerous Noise Levels

  • Firecrackers
  • Sirens
  • Rock concerts
  • Personal radios/speakers at high volume
  • Sporting events
  • Motorcycles
  • Lawnmowers and leaf blowers

How Can I Stop the Ringing in My Ears?

Sometimes, tinnitus will wear off on its own, especially after a single loud event. But tinnitus caused by ongoing exposure to loud noises may become chronic. In this case, there’s no cure.

However, you can work with your doctor find ways to manage your tinnitus. He or she can prescribe therapies and techniques to help you deal with its effects.

Tinnitus Prevention

  • Wear appropriate hearing protection for work and play.
  • Check your medications for possible side effects.
  • Avoid loud events, such as rock concerts.

In need of medical care? Make an AFC TeleCare appointment with our AFC Urgent Care Knoxville team to get the care you need from home.