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
- Noise Complaints: Taking On Tinnitus (National Institutes of Health) Also in Spanish
- Tinnitus (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)
- Tinnitus (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders) Also in Spanish
- Why Are My Ears Ringing? (American Tinnitus Association)
- Tinnitus Patient Navigator (American Tinnitus Association)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Tinnitus (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Which Came First, Age-Related Hearing Loss with Tinnitus or Cognitive Impairment?...
- Article: Effects of Transcutaneous Trigeminal Electrical Stimulation and Sound Therapy in Patients...
- Article: Analysis and comparison of clinical practice guidelines regarding treatment recommendations for...
- Tinnitus -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- American Tinnitus Association
- Find an Audiologist (American Academy of Audiology)
- Find an ENT (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)
- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
- Support Group Directory (Vestibular Disorders Association)