Man with tinnitus in the fall time

That ringing in your ears is more than just an urban legend about someone talking about you. It’s called tinnitus, a condition that affects countless people in the US and worldwide. You may be aware of this condition, but did you know that the weather and seasons can play a factor in how prominent it is?

What is tinnitus?

Eric Tyler, AuD, a CEENTA audiologist who provides services at SouthPark office, offers an explanation about tinnitus. "Tinnitus is an audiological condition that creates a ringing, buzzing, or whistling noise in your ears that’s not caused by an external source." It’s suggested that nearly 20% of adults have some degree of tinnitus ranging from minimal to severe.

What causes tinnitus?

In your inner ear are hair cells that help convert sound waves to electrical signals that are then sent to your brain’s auditory cortex. Damage to these cells can create that familiar ringing noise. Common causes for hair cell damage and tinnitus include:

  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Exposure to loud noises
  • Ear infection
  • Ménière's disease
  • Injury or trauma to the ear

How does fall weather affect tinnitus?

Although summer is typically the season with the largest amount of rainfall, autumn is not immune to having heavy showers. Rain causes the atmospheric pressure to lower, and with the fluid in your ear being especially sensitive to such changes you may find your tinnitus to be much louder. Cold weather fronts that come in during this time can also affect the blood pressure in your ears, potentially exacerbating this condition.

It’s worth noting that fall weather tends to be prime for certain plants to release pollen, including ragweed. If you’re sensitive to ragweed allergies, congestion in the Eustachian tube (a connecting tube between the middle ear and throat that can be affected by sinus issues) can create fluid buildup that subsequently causes additional pressure and tinnitus.

What do I do if I have tinnitus?

Although there is not a cure for tinnitus, there are home and medicinal remedies you can do to manage symptoms. Earwax removal at home or by a physician can help relieve pressure in the ear, and a white noise machine can be useful while you sleep to mentally block the ringing. However, one of the best courses of action you can take is to see an audiologist at CEENTA. Our hearing specialists can examine your ears for signs of hearing loss and provide treatment options best suited for you. Schedule with a CEENTA audiologist today by calling 704-295-3300.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. You can schedule an appointment with any of our audiologists in North and South Carolina through myCEENTAchart or by calling 704-295-3300.

 


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