If you suffer from Ringing in the ears, read more about possible help.
Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the ears or in the head when no external source is producing that sound. It is most often described by persons as a “ringing” in their ears but may also be perceived as a hissing, clicking, buzzing, or roaring, like steam escaping, or like the ocean sound in a conch shell. It is a widespread condition; research suggests that approximately 18% of the world’s population have tinnitus, and the American Tinnitus Association estimates that more than 50 million Americans have tinnitus. Tinnitus often results from a history of unprotected loud noise exposure in an occupational or recreational setting. Such exposure can result in temporary and/or permanent hearing loss, but the first indication that damage to the neural structures of hearing has occurred is often the characteristic “ringing in the ears” of tinnitus, before the individual is even aware of a change in hearing. Tinnitus often accompanies hearing loss of any cause. Therefore, it can be experienced from an ear wax impaction in the ear canal, or during an ear infection, or may occur due to a perforation of the tympanic membrane. It often accompanies the common decrease in hearing associated with the aging process. There are over 200 medications that can cause tinnitus as a potential side effect. Tinnitus is benign in nature and can be experienced as simply a mild distraction or annoyance, but for a small percentage of tinnitus sufferers, it can have a debilitating impact affecting daily activities. It is most often disturbing in very quiet environments in which no other sound is present to distract from it. Therefore, it can interfere with sleep or relaxation, and interfere with concentration when reading or working. For some individuals, it leads to anxiety or depression.