12/07/2024 11:48 PM

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The Health Maniacs

Unilateral Tinnitus

3 min read
Unilateral Tinnitus


Did you know that about 10 to 17% of the world’s population is affected by tinnitus? Around 44 Million Americans alone suffer from the condition and around 12 Million are severe cases. The Canadian Tinnitus Association reports more than 5 Million cases of tinnitus.

Tinnitus is a condition wherein there is a perception of hearing sounds in the absence of external noise. It is often referred to as head tinnitus, as the noises seem to be coming from inside the head. The frequency, volume and sound of the noise vary from one person to another. Some would hear clanging, others buzzing. Some people would hear roaring and other ticking or shrilling sounds.


People suffering from tinnitus can experience these sounds in one or both ears. This means that tinnitus can be unilateral or bilateral. Unilateral tinnitus is a type of tinnitus wherein the ringing and/or noise can be heard only on one ear. On the other hand, bilateral tinnitus is a type of tinnitus when the ringing is heard on both ears.

Unilateral tinnitus is the most common type of tinnitus and can be caused by a series of conditions including, but not limited to, impacted ear wax, ear infection and auditory trauma. Often considered as a subjective form of tinnitus, unilateral tinnitus mostly stems from the auditory pathways. With a disorder in the external conduit of the ear, tinnitus can be manifested at different occasions.


There are a number of reasons pointed out as to cause unilateral tinnitus. Among the most common are:

  • Impacted ear wax – excessive ear wax due to a certain disorder, hygiene oversight and/or neglect, or the presence of an ear wax attached to the ear drum can cause constant ringing in one ear. It is advised that the impacted ear wax be removed by a physician or a licensed medical practitioner. Any attempt to remove it ourselves may not only aggravate the condition but can also cause some irreversible and serious damage to our ear.
  • Ear Infection -Acute ear infections are often signaled by mild but constant ear aches, accompanied by slight hearing difficulties. The infection is caused by the inflammation of the middle ear from which fluid cannot be drained. As the body produces more fluid to the infected area, we hear the pulsating sound and this kind of unilateral tinnitus can be treated by taking in prescribed medications.
  • Unilateral tinnitus can also be experienced if one has ear infection due to the antibiotics being taken. These antibiotics are considered ototoxic medications, usually those among the line of aminosides, diuretics, and analgesics.
  • Auditory Trauma – when an ear is subjected to ear impact, the small bones, auditory nerves and the hair-like cells on the cochlea can be damaged. With the impact, the middle ear cannot send correct data to the brain and the brain will continue to interpret false signals being sent by these damaged parts. Continued exposure to loud noises and an abuse of entertainment system can damage your ear.

It is important that unilateral tinnitus can be diagnosed early on and that we seek medical help as soon as possible. This type of tinnitus can be given permanent relief and can also be prevented. Speak with your audiologist to know more or read more about unilateral tinnitus on the following websites.

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