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I've had white noise (with corresponding hearing loss) in my left ear for 2 months. What causes it and can it be fixed

I have had an MRI -- negative for tumor, MS, or anything else that might be causing it.

Related Topics: Tumor, Ears, Hearing Loss

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Internal Medicine
134 Answers
9,251 Helpful Votes

Hearing loss would generally be caused by a problem with the ear or a problem with transmitting sound from the ear to the brain. It sounds like you have had tests to detect any brain or nerve problem. I would have to assume at this point you have also seen an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor to have your ear thoroughly examined. Sometimes, it can be tough to identify the cause of ringing in the ears or white noise-type sounds like you describe with associated hearing loss. The only recommendation I can offer at this point is to work closely with an ENT doctor to keep searching for what might be causing it as the list of possibilities is lengthy. Based on your symptoms I am not able to tell what might be going on.

I am sure you have done quite a bit of research on your own at this point but a search on "hearing loss" on WebMD will bring up a host of useful information. To get started, here's information on the most common causes of hearing loss.

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Archived: March 20, 2014

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Answers from Contributors (1)

115 Answers
1,263 Helpful Votes

Did any doctor call it "Tinnitus?" If that's what it is, here are some reasons why you might have it that I found. Not sure though, that this is helpful if you do not have Tinnitus.

"The most common cause of tinnitus is hearing loss that occurs with aging (presbycusis), but it can also be caused by living or working around loud noises (acoustic trauma). Tinnitus can occur with all types of hearing loss and may be a symptom of almost any ear disorder. Other possible causes of tinnitus include:

  • A buildup of earwax.
  • Medicines, especially antibiotics or large amounts of aspirin.
  • Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol or caffeinated beverages.
  • Ear infections or eardrum rupture.
  • Dental or other problems affecting the mouth, such as temporomandibular (TM) problems.
  • Injuries, such as whiplash or a direct blow to the ear or head.
  • Injury to the inner ear following surgery or radiation therapy to the head or neck.
  • A rapid change in environmental pressure (barotrauma).
  • Severe weight loss from malnutrition or excessive dieting.
  • Repeated exercise with the neck in a hyperextended position, such as when bicycle riding.
  • Blood flow (vascular) problems, such as carotid atherosclerosis, AV malformations, and high blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Nerve problems (neurologic disorders), such as multiple sclerosis or migraine headache.

Other diseases. These may include:

  • Acoustic neuroma.
  • Anemia.
  • Labyrinthitis.
  • Meniere's disease.
  • Otosclerosis.
  • Thyroid disease.

Most tinnitus that comes and goes does not require medical treatment. You may need to see your doctor if tinnitus occurs with other symptoms, does not get better or go away, or is in only one ear. There may not be a cure for tinnitus, but your doctor can help you learn how to live with the problem and make sure a more serious problem is not causing your symptoms.

I also found this article on home treatments:

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