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Doctor explains diseases linked to ear ringing: Who should get checked

Doctor explains diseases linked to ear ringing: Who should get checked Illustrative photo (Photo:
Author: Daria Shekina

Nearly 14% of adults experience ringing in the ears at some point in their lives. For some people, symptoms improve or disappear over time, while for others, they worsen or persist for a long time.

RBC-Ukraine reports, according to Live Science, about the diseases that ringing in the ears may indicate.

Licensed audiologist Sabrina Lee explains that the causes of ringing in the ears (tinnitus) can include changes in the brain, wear and tear of hair cells in the ear, exposure to loud noises, blockages in the passages, and Meniere's disease.

She adds that exposure to loud noises is a major risk factor for developing ringing in the ears — for example, people who work in noisy environments or frequently attend events with loud music.

However, hearing problems can also occur in people who try to protect their hearing. Ringing in the ears can occur due to maladaptive brain plasticity - the brain tries to compensate for hearing loss by increasing neuronal activity, resulting in phantom sounds.

Another likely cause is the wear and tear of hair cells in the inner ear, the receptors of the auditory system. This occurs over time, and when damaged, irreversible hearing loss occurs, accompanied by phantom sounds.

Hearing problems can also arise from blockages in the ear passages by wax or due to Meniere's disease - a non-infectious disease of the inner ear characterized by an increase in the volume of endolymph (the fluid contained in the membranous labyrinth of the inner ear).

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