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Tinnitus

Summary

Tinnitus is often described as a ringing in the ears. It also can sound like roaring, clicking, hissing, or buzzing. It may be soft or loud, high pitched or low pitched. You might hear it in either one or both ears.

Millions of Americans have tinnitus. People with severe tinnitus may have trouble hearing, working or even sleeping.

Causes of tinnitus include

  • Hearing loss in older people
  • Exposure to loud noises
  • Ear and sinus infections
  • Heart or blood vessel problems
  • Meniere's disease
  • Brain tumors
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Thyroid problems
  • Certain medicines

Treatment depends on the cause. Treatments may include hearing aids, sound-masking devices, medicines, and ways to learn how to cope with the noise.

NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Start Here

  • (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders) Also in
  • (American Tinnitus Association)

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)

Treatments and Therapies

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (American Tinnitus Association)

Living With

  • (American Tinnitus Association)

Related Issues

  • (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)

Health Check Tools

  • (DSHI Systems)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • (American Academy of Audiology)
  • (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)
  • From the National Institutes of Health
  • (Vestibular Disorders Association)

Children

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)

Patient Handouts

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