What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the sound of ringing, roaring, buzzing, or clicking that occurs inside the head. The sounds:

  • may come and go
  • may be continuous
  • vary in pitch
  • may occur in one or both ears

Currently, there are approximately 36 million people in the United States who suffer from tinnitus.

What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus may result from a variety of causes, including:

  • damage to the nerve endings in the inner ear
  • stiffening of bones in the middle ear
  • advancing age
  • exposure to loud noises
  • allergy
  • high or low blood pressure
  • tumor
  • diabetes
  • thyroid problems
  • head or neck injury
  • reaction to certain medications

Treatment for tinnitus:
Specific treatment will be determined by the physician(s) based on:

  • patient’s age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the disease
  • expectations for the course of the disease
  • patient’s tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • patient’s (or family’s) opinion or preference

Generally, there is no specific treatment for tinnitus. If a particular cause can be identified, treatment for the cause may reduce or eliminate tinnitus.

Suggestions for reducing the severity of tinnitus include:

  • avoid loud sounds
  • have blood pressure checked
  • decrease intake of salt, which impairs blood circulation
  • avoid stimulants such as coffee, colas, and tobacco
  • exercise daily to improve blood circulation
  • get adequate rest
  • learn to ignore the sounds of tinnitus as much as possible
  • practice concentration and relaxation exercises
  • hearing aid(s) may reduce the sounds of tinnitus
  • mask the sounds of tinnitus with other, low-level sounds such as a ticking clock or specially-purchased "white noise" products