We all get things like ringing in our ears or floaters in our eyes. So, when is it a problem? Here are the facts, from Real Simple magazine:
- Let’s start with ringing in your ears. It happens to all of us after a loud concert or sporting event – and it is one of the hallmarks of partial, permanent hearing loss. Even though the ringing typically goes away after a few hours, you are left with permanent damage. If you haven’t been to a concert lately, the ringing could be caused by an allergy, earwax buildup, or a reaction to medication. If the ringing’s only in one ear, see a doctor. Or if you also have vertigo, balance problems, or facial weakness – which could indicate a tumor on your acoustic nerve.
- Then, do you ever get floaters in your eyes? If the specks are white, they’re probably just bits of tissue floating in the jelly inside your eye. Experts say your eye should reabsorb them. However, see a doctor if the floaters are black, or you’re also seeing flashing lights, which can mean a retinal tear.
- How about when your body jerks as you fall asleep? “Sleep starts” occur when your nerves misfire as your body and brain downshift into sleep. They’re harmless, and usually only lasts for a few seconds, but if they happen frequently, or disturb your sleep, see a doctor. It could be a sign of sleep apnea, or “periodic limb movement disorder.”
- Do you always sneeze in 3’s. Sneezing is a protective reflex, and it means there’s something irritating your nasal passages that your nose wants to get rid off. Bottom line: You’ll keep sneezing until the job gets done – so sneezing three or four times is completely normal.