What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a perception of sound in the ears or head when no external sound is present. Tinnitus is commonly referred to as ringing in the ears, but is also be described as buzzing, hissing, clicking, or many other descriptions. Tinnitus is not a condition itself but rather a symptom of an underlying condition such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury, or a circulatory system disorder.
How Common is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus affects 50 million people in the United States at least to a certain degree. It affects 16 million seriously enough to seek medical attention. Approximately two million people consider their tinnitus to be debilitating and report that it seriously disturbs their normal daily functioning.
What Causes Tinnitus?
The most common causes of tinnitus are age-related hearing loss, exposure to loud noise, earwax blockage, and ear bone changes. Other less common causes of tinnitus are Meniere’s disease, TMJ disorders, head or neck injuries, cardiovascular disease, or benign tumors on the hearing nerve. Some medications may also cause or exacerbate tinnitus. These include certain diuretics, antidepressants, cancer drugs, or aspirin.
Is there a cure? Currently there is no cure for tinnitus. There are many remedies advertised to cure or relieve tinnitus. None of these have been approved by the American Food and Drug Admininistartion.