What causes tinnitus & ringing in the ears

Tinnitus can develop gradually or appear out of nowhere. The causes of tinnitus are varied and difficult to pin down.  In the vast majority of cases, however, tinnitus is not related to any serious physical condition.

It is believed that tinnitus is amplified spontaneous neural activity, resulting in a "ringing in the brain".

 

Tinnitus can have many causes including:

  • Hearing loss - approximately 4 in 5 people with tinnitus also experience some level of hearing loss
  • Physical blockages, such as ear wax, that make us more aware of the sounds occurring inside our heads
  • Stress or trauma
  • Fluid in the middle ear, ear infection, or other disease of the middle ear, ear drum that causes us to hear noise
  • High blood pressure & hardening of the arteries
  • Exposure to excessively loud sound, including workplace noise, high intensity music & firearms
  • Diseases of the inner ear, such as Meniere's disease
  • Medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter remedies, vitamin & mineral supplements
  • Too much stress, as well as, over-use of artificial sweeteners, sugar, alcohol, tobacco & caffeine
  • In very rare cases, brain issues such as aneurysms or acoustic tumors

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Tinnitus symptoms

Tinnitus symptoms can vary in the way it sounds, its severity, as well as its annoyance. Tinnitus takes many different forms: ringing, chirping, pulsating, whooshing, humming, buzzing, roaring or clicking sound.
Learn more about Tinnitus symptoms