Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, can be caused by many things and is a sign of an underlying health condition. Tinnitus can be a major annoyance, depending on the severity and the effects it can cause in your life. It is not a disease, but is often a sign of an underlying condition which is causing the noise to be present in your ears.


The symptoms of tinnitus include a noise being heard in your ear when no external source in present. Some of these noises can be:

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Whistling
  • Hizzing
  • Humming
  • Roaring
  • Clicking
  • Heartbeat

The volume of the noise can fluctuate and the sounds are most often heard at night or when it is quiet. Tinnitus may be present all of the time, or it may come and go throughout your life.


Tinnitus isn’t a disease, it is a symptom of an underlying health condition. To determine what the underlying cause of your tinnitus is you may undergo several tests, including a physical exam, hearing and nerve tests or imaging such as an MRI or a CT scan. Be sure to inform the clinician about any medications you are taking as tinnitus could be a side effect of some drugs.

Damage to the inner ear hair is the most common cause of tinnitus, but there are many other causes including excessive ear wax, age-related hearing loss, chronic health conditions, or an ear infection. It is important to know that in many cases the cause of tinnitus can never be found.

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If your tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying medical condition, the first step will be to treat that condition and see if the tinnitus goes away. If the tinnitus remains, or if it is a result of being exposed to loud noises, we may recommend masking devices such as hearing aids or therapy like Tinnitus Retraining Therapy.

It should be understood that not all tinnitus can be eliminated or reduced, no matter the cause and sometimes it goes away on it’s own.


There are many solutions to tinnitus and our clinicians can discuss with you the next steps to take to help relief your tinnitus. Contact our clinic to schedule a hearing test and discuss what relief can be suggested.


Can others hear my tinnitus?

Most of the time, only the people who has tinnitus can hear the noise, this is called subjective tinnitus and it is most common. However, in some cases, the audiologist hear hear the noise if they put a stethoscope up to the ear, called objective hearing.

What should I do if I’m affected by tinnitus?

Sudden noises in your ears will usually disappear on their own. If the noise lasts longer than 24 hours, contact our clinic so you can meet with one of our audiologists.

How long does tinnitus last?

Tinnitus may briefly occur then disappear, remain for a few months or it may last a lifetime.

Is tinnitus harmful?

Tinnitus is not harmful from a medical perspective, but it may affect the mind.

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