Have you ever heard this annoying ringing in one or both ears?

Doctors call this “tinnitus”. It's not a disease, but it can sometimes indicate certain underlying condition. Rarely noise in the ears may become so severe and long-lasting that it appears difficult to hear something else.

Statistics shows that one of every five people experience clicking, ringing and some other phantom noises in the ears.

By the way, there are two types of tinnitus. In vast majority of cases we suffer from subjective ringing, caused by certain problems in the ear structure or in delivery of the nerve signals. Occasionally your doctor may also hear unusual sounds during your ear examination. This usually occurs because of blood vessel abnormalities or ear bone conditions.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

When sound waves travel through the outer ear and ear canal, they sway the eardrum. These vibrations are sent to tiny bones in the middle ear and then to the fluid-filled structure called cochlea, located in the inner ear. Ripples in the fluid give signals to the sensory hair cells (no, it's not about hair on your head). On the top of these cells thin stereocilia (hair-like tiny things) release special chemicals and create nerve impulse, which travels to the brain through the auditory nerve.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

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If hair cells become damaged, they can send wrong electrical signals to the brain, leading to tinnitus.

This may happen as a result of aging process and after exposure to extremely loud noise. In some cases excessive earwax may accumulate in the ear canal, impairing hearing or irritating the eardrum.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

Even though tinnitus is often caused by non-predictable structural changes, tumors and medications, specialists say that your lifestyle may also play a role.

It was found that having high blood pressure can contribute to ringing in the ears.

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That's why smokers and binge drinkers are much more likely to suffer from tinnitus than those, who follow healthy lifestyle.

Credit: Unsplash

Credit: Unsplash

While one glass of red wine may be beneficial for your vessels (and may improve your tinnitus too), chronic alcohol misuse can conversely bring a lot of harm, causing hypertension and cardiovascular disease that may be responsible for annoying sounds in your ears.

According to recent recommendations, it's OK to drink one alcohol beverage for women and two – for men.

It's also extremely important to quit tobacco consumption at all, if you don't really want to destroy your health.

Credit: Unsplash

Credit: Unsplash

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The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!

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Credit: BetterMe