Tinnitus is a widespread condition that affects an estimated 50 million Americans. Tinnitus is the name for phantom noises that have no external sound source. It can range from quiet to loud and can sound like ringing, hissing, roaring, clicking, whooshing, buzzing, etc. Tinnitus can vary from person to person, it can be perceived in one ear or both ears, and it can be intermittent, constant, or pulsed. Tinnitus is a symptom, not a disease. With rare exception, tinnitus is typically accompanied by hearing loss, meaning the two often co-exist. Tinnitus, however, can sometimes be associated with other medical conditions, including head injury, medication side effects, etc. Please see a physician at the onset of tinnitus or if your tinnitus changes.
- 90 percent of those suffering from tinnitus also have some degree of hearing loss.
- Around 60 percent of veterans returning from war report tinnitus.
- More than 200 drugs are known to cause tinnitus as a side effect.
- There are two types of tinnitus – subjective and objective.
- Subjective is tinnitus only you can hear; objective can be heard by your audiologist.
- More than 99 percent of all causes of tinnitus are subjective.
- Stress and anxiety may contribute to tinnitus.
- Studies have linked the chemicals found in cigarette smoke with tinnitus.
- There are several groups of people who are at higher risk of developing tinnitus:
- Those who work around loud machinery
- Senior citizens
- Military personnel
- Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy