Audiology/Otolaryngology/Ringing in ears

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Question
I am a self-employed 61 year old male. For the most part, my daily environment and routine is fairly quiet, and I am not exposed to loud noises. Yet lately I've been having a recurrence of ringing in my ears, primarily in the left one.
Sometimes this high pitched sound will come out of nowhere and gradually increase in volume, while at other times it just "shows up" unannounced and will stay with me for several hours (I am hearing it now, even as I type). Other times it's barely noticeable unless I cue in on it.
Do you have any possible explanation as to what could be going on inside my ears, or possibly somewhere in between? Thank you in advance.

Answer
Dear Bob,

What you are describing is referred to as "tinnitus" and is a very common ear-related complaint.  As you mentioned, noise exposure is a major contributor, but tinnitus can occur for many other reasons and take many forms (constant, pulsing, intermittent, different pitches, etc).  I would invite you to visit my Toledo Hearing Doctor webresource which I designed to answer ear related questions.  Specifically the following:

http://www.toledohearingdoc.com/hearing/tinnitus/

I think if you read through this, you will have a better understanding.  Also, you may visit the American Tinnitus Association's website for more information.

Please email me or ask a follow up question if you still have questions.

Clint

Audiology/Otolaryngology

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Dr. Clint D. Keifer, Audiologist

Expertise

I am qualified to answer all questions related to the diagnosis and rehabilitative treatment of hearing and balance disorders. This includes evaluation of hearing and balance, counseling, amplification (hearing aids and assistive devices), tinnitus (noises in head) evaluation and management, cochlear implants, and audiology in general.

Experience

I started my career as a hearing instrument specialist (on a trainee license) in 1998. After almost 2 years, I decided that I needed to pursue higher education if I was to provide the best care to hearing impaired patients that I could. In 2007, I completed my Doctor of Audiology and have been providing audiological care for almost 5 years. I have vestibular, cochlear implant, and pediatric experience along with prescribing, fitting, and verification of hearing aid amplification as part of comprehensive hearing loss rehabilitation.

Organizations
Audiology doctor and owner at Great Lakes Audiology in Toledo, OH. phone: 419 327-2273 website: www.GLAudiology.com American Academy of Audiology American Speech-Language Hearing Association Ohio Academy of Audiology

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Western Michigan University, Speech Pathology and Audiology Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), Ohio State University Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A)

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