Tinnitus is the perception of sounds not generated in the external environment. It is common and many people will experience it at some point in their lives.
People with tinnitus often describe the sound as ringing, buzzing, swishing or clicking.While it can be disturbing to someone who has it, for many with tinnitus it is not a serious problem. Some, however, may require medical or surgical treatment.
Tinnitus is very common and many people will experience it at some point. Studies show that up to 10-15% of the population suffers tinnitus severe enough to seek medical attention.The prevalence increases with age. More men than women are affected.
A person with tinnitus often complains of sounds of ringing, roaring, buzzing or chirping of crickets that may involve one or both ears. There may also be complaints of pulsatile tinnitus with associated symptoms that include hearing loss and dizziness.
Tinnitus, itself, is not a disease but may be a sign of damage in the hearing system or brain.
The ENT surgeon will take a complete history and physical examination of the head and neck including the various nerves in the area.
See an ENT specialist to determine the actual cause of your tinnitus.
A hearing test (audiogram) will be performed. Depending on the symptoms and examination as well as the type of tinnitus, other investigations may be needed. These can include either a special audiogram known as an auditory brainstem response (ABR), a brain scan such as a computerised tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.
Treatment for tinnitus depends on the underlying cause. In most cases, tinnitus is caused by damage to the cochlea. There is normally no need for treatment in such cases other than reassurance. If the patient is extremely bothered by the tinnitus, there are a number of treatment options.