What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no external sound is actually present. It is a symptom (not a disease) indicating that something is wrong in the auditory system, which includes the ear, the auditory nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain, and the parts of the brain that process sound. Because the function of the auditory nerve is to carry sound, when it is irritated from any cause, it produces head noise. This phenomenon is similar to the sensation nerves elsewhere. If one pinches the skin, it hurts because the stimulated nerves carry pain sensation.

Tinnitus is often described as a ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like a roaring, clicking, hissing or buzzing. It can affect one or both ears.

Filed Under: