Tinnitus is a condition in which a child hears constant ringing or other noises in the ears that are not caused by an outside source.
Tinnitus is a constant noise in the ears that cannot be explained by an external sound. The noise may be in one or both ears, and it may be continuous or happen only sporadically. Most children with tinnitus have otherwise normal hearing and outgrow the symptoms before adulthood.
The noise caused by tinnitus may be a ringing, buzzing, humming, hissing or clicking sound and can range in pitch. The noises can be distracting to a child, and make it difficult to pay attention and learn. In severe cases, tinnitus can cause psychological problems and hearing impairments.
Tinnitus happens when your child’s brain processes sounds differently in response to certain conditions. These conditions, or causes, may include:
- Abnormal growth of middle ear bones
- Congenital (from birth) hearing loss
- Damage caused by certain medications, including cancer treatment
- Damage caused by listening to earphones too loudly
- Frequent ear infections
- Injury to the eardrum
- Meniere’s disease
- Problems with jaw alignment
- Sinus infections
- Wax buildup in ear canal
Some young children with tinnitus do not report any symptoms because they do not know that the sounds they hear are not normal. Symptoms of tinnitus may include: