St Petersburg patients ask “What causes ringing in my ear?”

I get this question from a lot of my patients. In my case, I know the cause of my tinnitus (noises in ear) is from an ear injury while I was servicing in the U.S. Navy. The ringing in my ears began immediately after that explosion and has been constantly in my head for 44 years. Yes, I also suffered some hearing loss from that injury. I am comforted by the fact that I know what caused my tinnitus and that has made it easier for me to learn how to tolerate and live with it.

My patients are often frustrated and apprehensive because they do not know the cause of their tinnitus. The noise in their ear is a stress that makes them lose sleep and become anxious especially with sudden onset of the problem.

No one else but you can hear the tinnitus in your head and therefore the cause is very difficult to diagnose. However, there are a series of audiological tests that can help a physician rule out some kind of lesion, medication or health problem that is contributing to your tinnitus.

If you have noises in your ear I recommend that you start with your family physician. If they cannot pinpoint the cause then they will recommend that you consult with an Audiologist or an Ear Nose, Throat physician. Often these professionals work together in the same office.

If the cause of your tinnitus cannot be diagnosed and treated by a physician then you will have to join the millions of people, including me, who have just found a way to live with it. I will share how they do that in a future blog.

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