Tinnitus ("TIN-a-tus" or "Tin-EYE-tus"), more commonly spoken of as "ringing in the ears" or "head noise," has been experienced by almost everyone at one time or another. It is defined as the perception of sound in the head when no external sound is present. In addition to "ringing," head noises have been described as hissing, roaring, pulsing, whooshing, chirping, whistling and
clicking. Ringing and head noises can occur in one ear or both ears, and can be perceived to be occurring inside or outside the ear. It can accompany hearing loss. It can exist independent of a hearing loss.
What should I do? Since tinnitus is a symptom of a problem, the first thing you should do is to try to find out the underlying cause. You should have a medical examination with special attention given to checking factors associated with tinnitus such as blood pressure,
kidney function, medications/drug intake, diet and allergies, emotional stress, noise exposure, and diseases involving the auditory system. Tinnitus can be associated with conditions that occur at all levels of the auditory system. Some of these conditions are impacted wax (external ear); ear infection, middle ear tumors, otosclerosis, vascular problems (middle ear);
Menieres disease, ototoxic medications, circulation disorders, noise-induced hearing loss (inner ear); and, at the central level, 8 th nerve and other tumors, migraine, and epilepsy.