A Brief Look at “Ringing in the Ears”

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A Brief Look at “Ringing in the Ears”


Tinnitus is that sensation of hearing some sort of sound—a clicking, ringing, hissing, roaring or buzzing—when there’s nothing nearby that is making that sound.

You’ve probably experienced at least some level of tinnitus. If you’ve ever left a concert or sporting event with the sense that you can still hear the atmosphere of the arena, you know what tinnitus can be like. Those instances of tinnitus tend to fade away fairly quickly. But in other cases, the phantom sound of tinnitus can be persistent and even permanent.

Tinnitus can have multiple causes, but overexposure to loud noises and the onset of hearing loss are the most common. Anyone who works around loud machinery, uses firearms regularly or participates in any other activity generating regular noise in excess of 85 decibels (please note that even lawn equipment can easily reach that level) is strongly urged to purchase quality hearing protection. As for hearing loss, early detection through a comprehensive hearing assessment is the key.

While it can’t be cured, tinnitus can be managed with devices that, for instance, mask it with another sound. Simply wearing a hearing aid has also been found helpful, with some contemporary hearing aids also having built-in tinnitus-management technology.

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