What is Tinnitus?


Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing sound that is inaudible to others and often accompanies hearing impairment. The primary symptom of tinnitus is ringing, noise, or buzzing in the ears. Tinnitus is not a disease, but a symptom resulting from a range of underlying causes. It can be compared with phantom limb syndrome, which occurs when the brain makes the person feel pain in a limb that is no longer there.

Your brain has a drive to overcompensate

When you suffer from tinnitus, you perceive certain sounds that are generated by the nervous system of the ear and brain. The sounds are often characterised as hissing, ringing, buzzing, humming or the like.

The brain has a drive to overcompensate for what it is not getting from the ears because of hearing loss, often caused by hair cell damage. This can result in the perception of tinnitus.
Tinnitus is often accompanied by a series of common difficulties such as sleeping problems, irritation, difficulty relaxing, problems focusing on speech and concentration difficulties.

Tinnitus is often accompanied by hearing loss

Hearing loss may also be an associated condition of tinnitus. In 90 percent of the members in the American Tinnitus Association who are effected by tinnitus, hearing loss was also reported.*

*American Tinnitus Association

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