Ringing in the Ears: Facts About Tinnitus

Do you hear a ringing, roaring, clicking, or hissing sound in your ears? Do you hear this sound often or all the time? Does the sound bother you a lot? If you answer yes to these questions, you may have tinnitus (tin-NY-tus). Tinnitus is a symptom associated with many forms of hearing loss. It can also be a symptom of other health problems. Roughly 25 million Americans have experienced tinnitus. Some cases are so severe that it interferes with their daily activities. People with severe cases of tinnitus may find it difficult to hear, work, or even sleep. While the exact cause is unknown and there is no known cure, there are very effective treatment strategies. In 9 out of 10 cases there is an underlying hearing loss. In many cases treating the loss significantly reduces the tinnitus effects. For others sound masking technology provides effective tinnitus relief.

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What causes tinnitus?
Hearing loss. Most people who have tinnitus also have some kind of hearing loss. Loud noise. Exposure to loud noise can cause permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. Continued exposure can make the tinnitus and hearing loss get worse. Medicine. More than 200 medicines, many cancer treatments, and even aspirin, can cause tinnitus. If you have tinnitus and you take medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether your medicine could be involved. Other potential causes. Allergies, tumors, head trauma problems in the heart and blood vessels, jaws, and neck can cause tinnitus.
What should I do if I have tinnitus?
How will hearing experts treat my tinnitus?
What can I do to help myself?
What is the next step?