Tinnitus is defined as the perception of sound in the ears or head when no external sound source is present. Often referred to as "ringing in the ears", tinnitus can occur in one ear, both ears or somewhere more central in the brain. Often times the sounds patients report hearing isn't ringing at all. Some patients report hearing buzzing, humming, chirping, clicking, roaring and static-like noises. The awareness of these sounds can be constant or intermittent. Tinnitus alone is not a condition but is a symptom of some underlying change.
Tinnitus is a very common occurrence and more than 50 million adults in the U.S. report some degree of awareness of tinnitus. Most individuals experiencing tinnitus report an occasional awareness of a mild annoyance when the sound is present. However, many individuals become bothered by their tinnitus and feel that it creates a distraction and disturbance to everyday situations.
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