What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a distracting sound only you experience. It has been described as ringing, buzzing, clicking, or hissing, among other sounds. It may be constant or it might come and go. It’s important to remember that tinnitus is a symptom, not a disease. But that doesn’t make it any less exasperating.

What Causes Tinnitus?

There are a variety of tinnitus causes.

  • Aging: Some tinnitus is associated with age-related hearing loss. As you age, the amount of nerve fibers in your ears decrease, possibly causing hearing problems often associated with tinnitus.
  • Loud noise: Another of the most common tinnitus causes is loud noise. If you’ve been exposed to loud music, gunshots or explosions, or loud noise from construction or gardening machines, you may find yourself suffering from tinnitus.
  • Earwax: Sometimes earwax blockage can also cause tinnitus.
  • Medications: Some medications also appear to be tinnitus causes, with tinnitus as a side effect.
  • Other: Upper respiratory infections or jap popping joint (TMJ) disorders can also cause tinnitus.

What Are Tinnitus Symptoms?

Tinnitus can arrive without warning and disappear again, or it can be more chronic.

In addition to the persistent noise you hear, you may also suffer stress, sleep problems, anxiety or depression – all of which can make your tinnitus worse, a sort of vicious circle.

That’s why it’s important to talk to a hearing care professional so you can manage your tinnitus.