Tinnitus is the perception of a sound, in the absence of an actual external source. It can vary in type of sound, pitch and intensity, and can also come and go, or be there constantly.
Tinnitus is very common. It is in fact the 1st health concern reported by Veterans, before hearing loss and post-traumatic stress. Clinically speaking, 80% of the patients we see at the clinic who have some form of hearing loss, also experience tinnitus.
Tinnitus is also a symptom, rather than a condition. There is usually a reason for the tinnitus to be there, such as a problem with the ears (infections, wax build up), acoustic damage (hearing loss), or perhaps an issue with some other structure in your body, or a side effect of medication you may be taking.
Some people live well with their tinnitus, and some don’t. Regardless how well you cope with managing your tinnitus, it should be assessed to make sure there are no further medical investigations required.