Is it too late if tinnitus is left untreated? Relationship between Tinnitus and Brain Disease


If you have never had tinnitus before and suddenly start having ringing in your ears, you may be worried that you have a serious illness.

In most cases, tinnitus is not a life-threatening disease.
However, it is true that some tinnitus is caused by brain diseases.

If you experience tinnitus, be sure to see an otolaryngologist to have it checked out by a specialist.

Tinnitus has several causes, which are explained in "The causes of tinnitus are many and varied, and even doctors have difficulty quickly identifying them".
Please refer to this article.

What is tinnitus caused by brain disease?

There are two possible types of tinnitus caused by brain disease.

  • Tinnitus caused by an auditory nerve tumor
  • Tinnitus due to small infarction in the brain stem

Let's look at why tinnitus occurs.

Tinnitus caused by an auditory nerve tumor

When an auditory nerve tumor grows, it enters the head through the ear and becomes a brain tumor.
The tumor then presses on the auditory nerve, causing hearing loss and tinnitus.

Usually, when caused by an auditory nerve tumor, hearing loss worsens over time.
However, the speed of deterioration varies from person to person.

Noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus may sound familiar, so it is unlikely that this one is the cause, but if your doctor has diagnosed you with, for example, age-related hearing loss, it is unlikely that an auditory nerve tumor is the cause.

However, if you are concerned, you should have an MRI or other tests to see if a tumor is present.

Tinnitus due to a small infarction in the brainstem

Unlike auditory nerve tumors, this one causes sudden hearing loss and tinnitus.
This is caused by poor circulation in the arteries and can also be a symptom of atherosclerosis.

If you experience sudden hearing loss or tinnitus with no apparent cause, you should immediately visit a hospital for an examination.

How to distinguish between life-threatening and non-life-threatening tinnitus

It would be nice to be able to tell if your tinnitus is dangerous or not.
Unfortunately, however, there is no way to determine for yourself whether or not you have dangerous tinnitus.

There are various types of tinnitus in terms of pitch and type of sound, but this pitch and sound are not enough to determine if it is dangerous or not.

Therefore, if you notice hearing loss or tinnitus, you should always go to a hospital for a checkup.


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