Tinnitus (Ringing in Ear)
Tinnitus is a common affliction characterized by a ringing in the ear
usually noticeable only to the person experiencing it. Some people
describe it as a hissing, swooshing, roaring, or buzzing sound. Tinnitus
is a symptom of an underlying condition, and should be evaluated by a doctor in order to determine its cause.
Signs of Tinnitus
Tinnitus is associated with a variety of different conditions, ranging from the effects of aging and noise exposure to head or neck trauma, excessive earwax, cardiovascular disease, ear infections, ototoxic medications, blood vessel disorders, and other diseases.
Most cases of tinnitus are subjective, meaning the patient is the only one who can hear the ringing sound. Occasionally, objective tinnitus – in which a medical practitioner or other person is able to hear the internal noise – is observed, though this is rare.
Tinnitus itself is incurable, but treating the underlying condition might bring about symptom relief. The solution may be as simple as removing impacted earwax or changing medications.
Those whose symptoms don’t respond to treatment often find relief with noise suppression therapy. This works by diverting attention from the background ringing through the use of white noise. Many people rely on fans or air conditioners to mask the distracting background sounds, while others invest in expensive white noise machines that produce natural sounds such as rainfall or ocean waves.