Tinnitus is often described as a ringing in the ears. However, it can also sound like hissing, buzzing, roaring, sizzling, clicking or other noise.
Various medical conditions can make it more likely you experience tinnitus, including an eye condition known as primary open-angle glaucoma.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of progressive eye diseases that damage the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss. It’s more common in adults over 60 as well as those with a family history of glaucoma.
While in the early stages of glaucoma, there are often no symptoms, eventually, you may start to experience:
- Blind spots in your peripheral vision
- Tunnel vision
While there are several types of glaucoma, the most common type is known as primary open-angle glaucoma.
Glaucoma Patients Have Higher Rates of Tinnitus
A population-wide study published in April of 2022 examined the association between tinnitus and primary open-angle glaucoma. Researchers found that even after adjusting for factors such age, sex, and other pre-existing health conditions, individuals with primary open-angle glaucoma were significantly more likely to experience tinnitus than those without the condition.
Though the study did not stipulate the cause of this connection, they encouraged eye-care providers to be aware of the connection and for more research to be done.
Is Tinnitus Impacting Your Life?
Some people experience tinnitus as an acute symptom that comes and goes and only lasts for a few days. However, other people experience chronic tinnitus that can continue for weeks, months and even years. For some, symptoms become disruptive and begin to negatively impact their work, social life, sleep patterns and mental health.
If tinnitus is interfering with your quality of life, make an appointment with your medical provider. Because tinnitus is a symptom of a condition rather than an illness itself, identifying the cause may be the key to treating your symptoms.
However, in cases where no cause can be found or symptoms still persist, options to manage tinnitus are available.
Tinnitus Treatment Options
Noise suppression therapy and masking techniques are popular forms of tinnitus management. They utilize white noise machines, fans and air conditioners to help cover up the ringing in your ears.
Other options may include:
- Tinnitus retraining therapy
- Hearing aids (if your tinnitus is associated with hearing loss)
- Stress reduction techniques like mediation or taking a class at Santa Fe Community Yoga
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, call Southwestern Hearing & Balance today.