Ear, Nose & Throat

Wind sound in ear: 7 Causes and 7 Treatments

Wind sound in ear is a feeling of noise in the ear. It is also known as Tinnitus in medical terms. Wind sound in ear also known as Tinnitus is characterized by noise in the ear that sounds like a roar, a buzz, a hiss or a whistle. This affliction can be quite annoying especially when there is no external stimulus to justify it.

This feeling can occur continuously or intermittently depending on the severity of the condition and can cause an unbearable distraction to someone who is trying to concentrate. You might wish to take a break from school or work.

You need to take a break especially if you work heavy and dangerous machinery.  One or both ears can be affected by this affliction. Wind sound in ear is not a condition by itself; it is considered symptomatic of an underlying problem.

The underlying problem could be; a problem with the patient’s circulatory system, an ear injury, or a condition related to old age. Wind sound in ear can be chronic or temporary depending on the underlying cause of it. A basic and temporary underlying problem such as wax build up can be cleared out within minutes.

However, if the symptoms are persistent and chronic the help of a doctor could be needed. Luckily, wind sound in ear otherwise known as Tinnitus in most cases is not a sign of a serious or life-threatening condition.

Wind sound in ear usually worsens with age though, and that’s definitely what our old folks mean when they claim to be “hearing things”. The good news is that wind sound in ear is manageable with treatment. Treatments could either help get rid of the whistling sound or mask it to become less noticeable.

Wind sound in ear can be either subjective or objective. Subjective means that only the patient experiencing it can hear the whistling or ringing sound in their ear. This can be not only infuriating but also embarrassing; you do not want to be the only person on that lunch date that’s “hearing things.”

The wind sound in ear may also be objective, meaning that other people besides the patient hear it as well. This, however, happens very rarely.  Despite the fact that wind sound in ear may not be indicative of a serious medical condition, it does present an irritation that keeps people from living their best lives and performing their normal duties. So, its important to look into the causes of this condition.

Causes of Wind Sound in Ear:

wind sound in ear
Wind sound in ear
Image source: boldsky.com

This condition is not a rarity; it affects millions across the world. Though it can be difficult to determine the exact cause of each individual case of Wind sound in ear, several probable causes are quite common.

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Damage of Inner Ear Cells:

Normally, your inner ear contains little hairs which are moved by the pressure from sound waves. The pressure from sound waves triggers the cells in the inner ear to release and transmit electrical signals through the auditory nerve to your brain.

The brain will then interpret the electric signal as sound and thus enable us to hear. However, when the tiny hairs inside our inner ear are broken or bent out of shape, random electric signals will be sent to the brain which will cause a wind sound in ear.

Loud Noise:

Music lovers are mostly affected here. You may have to half the volume on your iPods or mp3 players when enjoying your favorite hits to avoid going down with a case of Tinnitus.

Loud noises from heavy machinery such as chainsaws and high power drills are also dangerous. This is why ear-muffs are required in places of work where noise is produced as a matter of policy.

Gun lovers are also not spared here since a few sessions on that gun range can cause a wind sound in ear due to the noise involved. Ear-muffs are also used here to protect the hearing of gun practice participants.

Wind sound in ear caused by short periods of exposure to loud noises gradually wears off, but wind sound in ear caused by consistent exposure to loud noises can cause permanent harm.

Blockage by Earwax:

Earwax is great for ear health and safety. Not only does earwax contain chemical substances that kill off infection-causing microorganisms, but they also moisturize the middle ear to prevent dryness and itchiness. Despite the useful functions of earwax, too much accumulation of it can be harmful to an individual’s hearing.

Excessive accumulation could lead to ear wax hardening, making it difficult to clean or clear it off. This excessive accumulation can lead to a hearing impairment or a wind sound in ear.

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Age-related Hearing Impairment:

When it comes to your body, a lot of things get worse with age. You cannot sprint as fast as you used to, cannot hold your breath as long as you used to and definitely cannot lift heavy weights as much as you used to.

Hearing is no different; it deteriorates for most people soon after the age of 60. Hearing impairment due to old age can also cause wind sound in ear. This can also be described in medical terms as Presbycusis.

Stiffening of Earbones:

When the bones in the inner ear become stiff also known as Otosclerosis, your hearing is affected, and wind sound in ear might occur. This condition is hereditary in some families.

Head or Neck Trauma:

When a patient suffers injuries to the neck and head either due to car accidents, contact sports or blows during fights, it could affect the auditory nerves. Injuries that affect the brain function that links to hearing; usually impair hearing in one ear and may also cause wind sound in ear.

Side Effects of Certain Medicines:
  • Certain medicines may lead to wind sound in ear. Among them are;
  • Quinine medicine- taken to combat malaria
  • Cancer medications such as Vincristine and Mechlorethamine
  • Aspirin- when token in abnormally high doses
  • A certain type of antidepressants
  • Antibiotics- usually taken to kill off harmful bacteria, and fungi

Since the causes of the weird sound in ear like wind have been well articulated; it is now time to have a look at how this condition can be treated.

Treatment for Wind Sound in Ear:

Though the annoying sounds in ear may go away after some time even without treatment, it is important to note some of the remedies in case this condition persists.

Hearing Aids:

This is the most common remedy for wind sound in the ear. These devices come in various sizes and shapes, and they can be a big help if you have hearing impairment caused by the condition. More and more Kiwis tend to shop hearing aids in NZ as they’re proven to be effective against wind sound in the ear. They amplify sound that comes into your ears such that it is audible to you thus cutting out the annoying wind sound in your ear. They are also useful when having conversations with friends as they ensure that the conversation is audible and clear.

Wax Removal:

In case of a temporary symptom such as a blockage due to ear wax accumulation, simply removing the ear wax can alleviate the irritation. However, a lot of ear wax accumulated over extended periods of time may prove stubborn to get rid of.

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The help of a doctor will be required in such an instance. The doctor will mostly clear out the wax by syringing in water at high pressure.

Treatment of Sinusitis:

Symptoms brought about by a blockage of the sinuses can be alleviated if the blockage is treated. Medicines or nasal drops that would normally clear up the sinuses can come in handy to alleviate the rushing sound in ear.

Corrective Surgery:

If the ear irritation is brought about by a problem or damage to the eardrum, then corrective surgery can be done to restore proper hearing and get rid of the wind sound in ear. An ENT surgeon is the best fit for carrying out this delicate procedure.

Discontinuing Ototoxic Medicines:

Symptoms that come about as a side effect of ototoxic drugs will go away if you stop taking the drugs. Some of these drugs could include; drugs for managing cancer, malaria, antidepressants, and even some antibiotics.

Going for Sound Therapy:

Sound therapy involves the use of external noises such as background music to hide the patient’s perception of wind sound in ear. Sound therapy seeks to make these noises pleasant to bring about temporary relief.

Going for Tinnitus Retraining Therapy:

When the sounds are persistent and can’t be gotten rid of, Tinnitus retraining therapy can be employed to train the patient to deal with the noises and to accept them as natural.

Elderly people with Tinnitus are most suited for this. This requires the patient to put on a device that produces pleasant low-level noise to acquaint him or herself with the persistent sounds.

This process requires the enlisting of a trained professional in order to bring relief to patients successfully. The treatment for this condition has been well detailed though as they say prevention is better than cure. So how can you save yourself from being affected by this condition?

Prevention of Wind Sound in Ear:

Having Hearing Protection:

If you work in a loud environment, it would be smart if you put on hearing protection such as ear muffs. These will protect you from any harm to your ear based on loud noises.

Safe Volumes of Music:

The sound of loud music can be quite appealing until it’s not. Exposure to loud music over long periods of time might damage your hearing. You can protect yourself by simply adjusting the volume downwards.

  1. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-tinnitus-symptoms
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/156286.php
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/symptoms-causes/syc-20350156
  4. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/picture-of-the-ear#1
  5. https://www.emedicinehealth.com/tinnitus/article_em.htm

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