Is it normal to have a tinnitus at 16 years of age?

Hi, so I've had this tinnitus for about ten years, but in the recent few months it has gotten so bad, that for some seconds I go deaf on one ear and I only hear this high pitch noise, this doesn't occur too often though. My usual noise is a kind of TV static sound mixed with a high pitch beep. Should I go to the doctor?

Is It Normal?
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  • See an ENT.

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  • I assume you've had medical advice about this? If no, do so

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  • Genetics suck in that regard. But hey! You won the lottery for hearing loss because technology can fix that... mostly.

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  • ive had tinnitus ever since i could remember, and i can remember all the way back to when i just turn 5 so...yeah

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  • Yes it is normal. I had it younger than that but it was due to a head injury when I was 11.

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  • Probs not, if it makes you feel better have fainting issues that cause me to go temporarily blind and loose all feeling in my legs. It's almost killed me 3 times so far. 1 by drowning twice by car. I'm only 21, ain't life's bitch?

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  • Neurosurgeon here. Ten years of persistent tinnitus before the age of 20 warrants a doctor visit. Tinnitus is normal if periodic and can often worsen with various other symptoms (such as jaw pain), but you’ll want to get it checked out since it has persisted for so long. It could be nothing, it could be something.

    Go directly to an otolaryngologist or those that work in a head and neck clinic. Chances are they will want to order an MRI and/or CT scan (routine to check for scarring or tumors) and a hearing test. Worthwhile to do both and go from there. Best of luck!

    Fun fact: tinnitus is actually caused by lateral inhibition of contiguous sensory neurons in the auditory cortex. When inputs are lost from the inner ear, adjacent cells essentially drive the neuron without any input to fire. Since the auditory cortex is tonotopically organized, listening to pure tone sound frequencies around the frequency of the “ringing” will attenuate the tinnitus for about 30 seconds. Unfortunately though, the ringing will come back.

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