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Tinnitus is a hearing condition which affects approximately 50 million US citizens between 60 and 75 years of age. More common in men as compared to women, the primary manifestation of ringing ears is hearing sounds that no one else can hear.

Some tinnitus sufferers hear the tones as coming from their ears, while some experience them as coming from inside their heads. Although the nature of the sound may differ, probably the most commonly-reported are typically constant high-pitched ringing, whistling, roaring, buzzing, or humming noises, or even a fast clicking sound almost like crickets chirping. Some types of tinnitus feature a pulsing or recurrent clicking, at times perceived as associated with one’s heartbeat. Most cases are usually generally known as subjective tinnitus, which means only the person suffering will be able to notice the sound, however in rare cases of objective tinnitus, a health care professional may actually be able to pick up a sound.

Tinnitus is generally not regarded as a disease in itself but a manifestation of something else taking place in one or even more of the four components of the auditory system – the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, and the brain. Tinnitus often appears as a co-symptom related to other kinds of either conductive or sensorineural hearing loss, as opposed to being a type of loss of hearing by itself. Though since tinnitus can cause individuals to hear the buzzing or ringing sound constantly, this can have the effect of reducing a person’s absolute threshold of hearing, which makes it more difficult to hear low-level sounds normally.

There are several reasons for tinnitus, but the most widespread is getting older, and age-related hearing loss. Other reasons can include exposure to high decibel noises or music, a change in or deterioration of the bone structure or hair cells of your inner ear, emotional stress and depression, and injuries that cause trauma to the head, neck area or ears. Tinnitus is occasionally viewed as a secondary symptom of various other disorders, along the lines of Meniere’s disease, TMJ disorder, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, and some tumors. A small number of prescribed medicines may also lead to tinnitus, such as certain prescription antibiotics, cancer and malaria medications, diuretics, and aspirin consumed in abnormally high quantities.

There isn’t a surefire solution or treatment for tinnitus.Roughly 35% of incidents disappear by themselves within a couple of months. Some success has been achieved in managing the rest of the cases with electrical stimulation, nutrition and pharmaceutical therapy, and if appropriate, a surgical procedure. If any of the signs of ringing in the ears mentioned above sound familiar to you, seek the advice of a specialist for an assessment, so that they can help you locate the most suitable cure for the problem.