What are the Symptoms and Causes of Tinnitus


Tinnitus Overview

Tinnitus occurs when you feel hearing sounds or ringing in either or both of your ears. The sound you hear when suffering from Tinnitus doesn't originate from external sounds, and people who don't have it usually won't be able to listen to it. Tinnitus is a frequent issue. It is a problem that affects around 15 percent or 20% the population and is most prevalent among older people.

Tinnitus is typically caused by an underlying problem that causes hearing loss, for example, age-related loss, ear injuries, or a malfunction in your circulatory system. For many, tinnitus is improved with treatment of the cause of the problem or other treatments that lessen or eliminate the noise and make it less apparent.


Tinnitus is usually identified as an ear-ringing sound in the ear, even though there is no external sound. Tinnitus may be accompanied by other ghostly sounds in your ears that include:

  • Buzzing
  • Roaring
  • Clicking
  • Hissing
  • Humming 

Tinnitus sufferers typically are suffering from subjective tinnitus, also known as tinnitus which you are the only one to detect. Tinnitus sounds can vary in frequency from a low roar to an intense squeal. it could be heard in both ears or just one. In certain cases, the sound may be so loud that it can interfere with your ability to focus or hear sounds from outside. Tinnitus can be present throughout the day or it could occur and disappear.

Tinnitus, in rare instances, can be experienced as a vibrating sound or a whooshing sound usually in tune with your heartbeat. This is known as pulsatile tinnitus. If you suffer from pulsatile tinnitus your doctor may be able to detect the tinnitus by conducting an exam (objective Tinnitus).


Tinnitus is a typical issue for a lot of people. It is caused by any or more of these:

Hearing loss. There are tiny hair cells that line your ear's inner (cochlea) which move when your ear detects sound waves. The movement causes electrical signals to travel that connect your ear to the brain (auditory nerve). The brain processes these electrical signals to interpret them as sounds.

If the hairs within your ear are broken or bent happens with age or when you're regularly exposed to loud noise hairs can "leak" random electrical impulses into your brain, causing the sensation of tinnitus.

Ear infections or blocked ear canal. The ear canals may get blocked due to a build-up of liquid (ear infection) or earwax, dirt, or other foreign objects. The blockage could alter the pressure inside the ear, which can cause hearing loss and tinnitus.

Neck and head injuries to the neck or head. Neck or head traumas can impact the inner ear's hearing nerves or brain functions related to hearing. These injuries typically cause hearing loss in one ear.

Medications. Certain medications can cause or worsen tinnitus. The more dosage of these drugs and the more severe the tinnitus is. In most cases, the noise is gone after stopping the use of these medications.

Tinnitus-related medicines include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) as well as certain antibiotics such as cancer drugs, diuretics, water pills (diuretics), and antimalarial medications and antidepressants.

Other causes of the tinnitus

Less common tinnitus causes are ear infections and chronic health issues and conditions or injuries that affect nerves in your ear or in the auditory center of your brain.

Meniere's disease. Tinnitus is an early sign of Meniere's disease. It is an inner-ear disorder that can be caused by an abnormal pressure of the fluid in the inner ear.

Eustachian tube dysfunction. When this happens, the ear tube that connects the middle ear with your upper throat stays always expanding and can cause your ears to feel full.

Ear bone changes. The bones that are swollen in the middle ear (otosclerosis) can alter your hearing and trigger the sensation of tinnitus. This is a condition that results from abnormal bone growth and is likely to be inherited by families.

Muscle spasms can occur in the inner ears. The muscles of the inner ear may tighten up (spasm) and can result in tinnitus and hearing loss, and the sensation of fullness within the ear. Sometimes, this happens without a reason that can be explained, but it could occur due to neurologic disorders such as multiple sclerosis.

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Issues with the TMJ which is the joint that runs on both sides of your head that is in the front of your ear, the place where your jawbone's lower part meets your skull, may cause the sensation of tinnitus.

Acoustic neuroma and other neck and head cancers of the neck and head. Acoustic neuroma can be described as a non-cancerous (benign) benign tumor that grows within the cranial nerve which connects your brain with the inner ear. It controls the balance as well as hearing. Other neck, head, or brain tumors could cause hearing loss.

Blood vessel disorders. Conditions that affect blood vessels, like atherosclerosis or high blood pressure, or malformed or kinked blood vessels can result in blood moving through your arteries and veins with greater force. The blood flow changes could result in tinnitus and make it more apparent.

Other chronic illnesses. The thyroid, diabetes issues, migraines, anemia, and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus are all associated with tinnitus.


Tinnitus can affect people in different ways. For some, tinnitus can greatly impact your quality of life. If you experience tinnitus you might also experience:
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Sleep issues
  • Distractions in concentrating
  • Memory issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and anger
  • Headaches
  • Problems with family and work life
The treatment of these conditions might not directly affect tinnitus but it could aid in reducing your discomfort.

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