Have you ever gone out to a concert and noticed a ringing in your ears at the end of the night? We call this tinnitus.
Tinnitus is the perception of a sound, in the absence of an external source. In other words, you are hearing a sound that no one else around you can hear. Sometimes it is in one ear, in both ears, or can also be perceived in the middle of the head. It can change in intensity (volume), it can change in pitch, and it can sometimes come and go, or be there all the time. Everyone who experiences tinnitus can have a different experience.
There are two types of tinnitus: subjective and objective. When we talk about tinnitus, we generally refer to the subjective one, where you hear a sound that no one else can hear. That said, objective tinnitus can also occur, where someone who listens next to your ear can also hear your tinnitus. This is fairly rare and is typically caused by a physical problem within the structures around your ears.
Bottom line, the most important thing to know is that tinnitus is a symptom of something else, not a condition. There is usually a cause for it, whether it is exposure to loud noise, hearing loss, or a medical condition. Research shows that there are over 200 health conditions or disorders that can trigger tinnitus, or list it as a symptom. Most often than not though, it is usually linked to hearing loss.
Tinnitus is often misunderstood and over complicated, here’s a more in-depth explanation to help you fully understand tinnitus.