Causes of Tinnitus
Whatever the trigger for tinnitus, it causes a change to the transmission of the signal going from the ear to the part of the brain where sound is processed, known as the auditory cortex. This means that some parts of the auditory cortex do not receive signals as they used to.
In some people, this area reacts by developing spontaneous ‘chatter’, which becomes synchronized to create the illusion of sound. Over time, this firing pattern is strengthened and the tinnitus can become a constant sound. The following factors are known to be involved in the development of tinnitus:
1. Hearing loss
Tinnitus often occurs along with some degree of hearing loss. But around one in every three people with tinnitus does not have any problem with their hearing.
2. Exposure to loud noise
Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. A single incident experienced at close range may permanently damage your hearing in an instant. Repeated exposures to loud noise over an extended period of time present serious risks to human hearing.
3. Injury to the ears or head
For more than one in ten suffering chronic tinnitus the problem stems from a neck or head injury.
4. Ear infection
Any ear infection can cause blockage of hearing, and so make the occurrence of tinnitus more likely.
5. Disease of the ear
There are several diseases of the ear that can occur in an otherwise healthy person, all of which can cause hearing loss and so make the occurrence of tinnitus more likely.
6. Side effect of medication
Certain medications, both prescription and over the counter, can cause tinnitus. Tinnitus is cited as a potential side effect for about 200 prescription and non-prescription drugs.
7. Emotional stress
How you manage your tinnitus may have a connection with the level of stress you are under. If you have a high level of stress there is a greater chance that you will be troubled by your tinnitus.