DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
CLICK TO ENLARGE
Tinnitus (TIN-ih-tus) is noise or ringing in the ears. A common problem, tinnitus affects about 1 in 5 people. Tinnitus isn't a condition itself — it's a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.
Although bothersome, tinnitus usually isn't a sign of something serious. Although it can worsen with age, for many people, tinnitus can improve with treatment. Treating an identified underlying cause sometimes helps. Other treatments reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less noticeable.
- About tinnitus. American Tinnitus Association. http://www.ata.org/for-patients/about-tinnitus. Accessed Oct. 31, 2012.
- Dinces EA. Diagnosis and etiology of tinnitus. www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 31, 2012.
- Tinnitus fact sheet. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/staticresources/health/hearing/TinnitusFS.pdf. Accessed Nov. 1, 2012.
- Ruppert SD, et al. Tinnitus evaluation in primary care. The Nurse Practitioner. 2012;37:21.
- Tinnitus. American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/tinnitus.cfm. Accessed Nov. 1, 2012.
- Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0986-5..C2009-0-38984-9--TOP&isbn=978-1-4377-0986-5&about=true&uniqId=236797353-5. Accessed Nov. 1, 2012.
- Treatment information. American Tinnitus Association. http://www.ata.org/for-patients/treatment. Accessed Nov. 1, 2012.
- Management tips. American Tinnitus Association. http://www.ata.org/for-patients/tips. Accessed Nov. 1, 2012.
- Dinces EA. Treatment of tinnitus. www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 31, 2012.
- Beatty CW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 15, 2012.
- Langguth B, et al. Neuroimaging and neuromodulation: Complementary approaches for identifying the neuronal correlates of tinnitus. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. 2012;6:1.