What is tinnitus?

Published 02/21 2014 09:50AM

Updated 02/21 2014 10:40AM

·        What is tinnitus?

·        Tinnitus (tin-nit-us) or (tin-night-us), it can be pronounced either way, is the medical term for the sensation of hearing sound in your ears when no external sound is present.  In most cases, it is subjective; meaning only the person experiencing it can hear it.   It is has been described to me  as “ringing”, “hissing”, “buzzing”, “roaring” ,“crickets”, “seashell sound” as well as other various descriptions.    The most important aspect to remember about tinnitus is that it is a symptom, not a disease.   My job as a diagnostic audiologist is to help the ENT physicians find the cause of the tinnitus so that proper treatment can be given in order for the tinnitus to be alleviated.

·        Here are some known facts about tinnitus:

o   Some 50 million adults suffer from tinnitus.  That is 1 in 5 people.

o   Tinnitus is the #1 disability for our military veterans.

o   Tinnitus can occur at any age and may begin suddenly or progress gradually.

o   Tinnitus is different from normal temporary sound in the ears which lasts only a few seconds then fades away.

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