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Ringing in the Ear

What is Ringing in the Ear?

Ringing in the ear is a symptom associated with many forms of hearing loss. The sounds associated with ringing in the ear may be high or low pitched and vary in the type of sound produced. Ringing in the ear may come and go, or you may be aware of a continuous sound.

If you believe you have ringing in the ear, you should contact your doctor. Your doctor will run tests to determine what is causing your ringing in the ear. Ask your doctor to check to see if it is related to blood pressure, kidney function, diet, or allergies, or medicine you are taking.

Your doctor may refer you to an otolaryngologist (oh-toe-lair-in-GAH-luh-jist) or an audiologist (aw-dee-AH-luh-jist). An otolaryngologist is an ear, nose, and throat specialist. An audiologist will measure your hearing and determine if you need a hearing aid.

Ringing in the ear is also called tinnitus. People with severe cases of ringing in the ear may find it difficult to hear, work, or even sleep.

Symptoms of Ringing in the Ear

The most common symptoms of ringing in the ear are noises, such as humming, clicking, buzzing, whistling, chirping, or roaring. One or both ears may be affected. The symptom(s) may be short or long in duration. It may be constant or intermittent.

What causes Ringing in the Ear?

Most cases of ringing in the ear are caused by damage to the microscopic endings of the hearing nerve in the inner ear.

Some of the most common causes of nerve damage to the endings of the hearing nerve in the inner ear are:

Treatments for ringing in the Ear

Some common treatments are: hearing aids, maskers (small electronic devices that use sound to make ringing in the ear less noticeable), medication, and counseling.

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