Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.


Monday, 22 June 2009 03:49 PM

Question: I have had ringing in my ears for years that isn't because of loud noises. Can medication reduce or eliminate the buzzing?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Ringing or buzzing sensations in the ears (known as tinnitus) have numerous causes, one of which is exposure to loud noise. Once the condition is present, significant irreversible damage has occurred, and that is why noise-exposure limits must be recognized and enforced in our schools. Try to encourage young people you know to limit excess noise exposure, whether at a concert or while using earphones and iPods.

Other causes of tinnitus include middle- and inner-ear disease, medications, tumor, stroke, and infection. Blockage of the external ear canal with wax, debris, or infection may also impair hearing. Occasionally, symptoms of tinnitus may indicate neuromas and irregularities of the eighth cranial nerve, vascular malformations, and aneurisms. The list goes on. Be sure to have tinnitus evaluated properly, and do not wait until it is continuous and disabling. We have no medication that eliminates tinnitus without relieving the underlying cause.

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