Tinnitus is a term covering a range of symptoms, all of them related to hearing noise without an outside source to explain them. Tinnitus can be caused by a wide range of complex factors or one specific cause, but individual cases can differ widely. If you think you have tinnitus, visiting an audiologist can be key in helping you figure out the best ways to treat it. But what are the signs of tinnitus? When should you be concerned about getting help for it?

Unexplained noise

Unexplained noise is the most common symptom. Tinnitus is the experience of hearing noises without a source. The noise is often characterized as ringing, buzzing or melodic noises. They can be constant or intermittent. Some will match the rhythm of your pulse. These noises can be heard in your ear or directly in your mind and being able to identify and describe the kind of noise you hear and how you hear it can help your hearing specialist find the right treatments.

Noise sensitivity

Many people with tinnitus also suffer hyperacusis. This means that you can become overly sensitive to noise and hyper aware of it. This noise sensitivity is especially common in those who suffer from tinnitus due to long exposure to loud noises. If you find that you can’t sleep because external noises, no matter how faint, catch your attention or if you find yourself complaining about the volume of the TV, music or speech even if they are at a normal level, you might be suffering from hyperacusis. Along with tinnitus, it can cause a range of ongoing mental health issues, so seeking treatment for it early could be vital.

Lack of sleep

Sleeplessness has already been mentioned, but some people might not recognize it’s a sign of tinnitus. In some cases, tinnitus will only become very noticeable when the environment is otherwise very quiet. Some might not notice the ringing or buzzing until they’ve settled down for the night, at which point it becomes impossible to ignore. If you are having trouble sleeping at night and you are “imagining” noise or you feel like you’re able to hear your heartbeat, then tinnitus could be the cause. The sleeplessness caused by tinnitus is a huge factor in ongoing problems with stress, anxiety, and depression that many people have trouble with. Through noise therapy and relaxation techniques, the symptoms can be treated and you could find yourself sleeping through the night once again.

As mentioned, tinnitus can cover a range of different experiences, and it can also cause a range of difficulties for those living with it. Ranging from insomnia to anxiety, it can have severe impacts on your health if left untreated. If you suspect you have tinnitus, seek help for it as soon as possible. There are a lot of different treatment options and finding those that work for you can take some time so it’s better to start looking early.