Tinnitus can be caused by aging, exposure to loud noise, earwax accumulation and changes to the ear bones, according to Mayo Clinic. It is often caused by damage to inner ear cells, as well as various ear problems, health conditions, and injuries to the ear's nerves or the hearing center of the brain. Less common causes of tinnitus include TMJ disorders, acoustic neuroma and Meniere's disease. Tinnitus can also be caused by an injury to the neck or head.
Pulsatile tinnitus can be caused a by a tumor pressing against blood vessels in the head or neck, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and turbulent blood flow, according to Mayo Clinic.
Certain medications may cause tinnitus, states Mayo Clinic. Sometimes the tinnitus goes away after discontinuing use of the medication, and the tinnitus usually worsens as dosages increase. Medications that can cause tinnitus include some antibiotics, cancer medications, water pills and quinine medications. Tinnitus can also be caused by taking excessive amounts of aspirin, usually more than 12 daily.
Tinnitus caused by long-term exposure to loud sounds can be permanent, according to Mayo Clinic. Tinnitus caused by short-term exposure to loud sounds usually goes away over time. Hearing usually gets worse naturally around the age of 60, which can lead to tinnitus.