Noises in the ears is called tinnitus. The Better Hearing Institute defines tinnitus as “the perception of a sound that has no external source.” The noise can take on several forms. Some people report ringing, humming, buzzing, clicking or cricket-like sounds.
At times tinnitus may be a combination of sounds or sounds that change in pitch or loudness. It can be constant or intermittent, in one ear, both ears, or in the head. It may vague, and difficult to pin point a point of origin.
Occasionally people with tinnitus hear music, singing or voices. This is different from someone who has a mental illness and may experience hallucinations. With tinnitus, there is neural activity in the brain causing the phenomena.
There are many causes. At times the cause in not known. The most common causes include hearing loss and exposure to loud sounds. Sometimes is presents following a head injury, stroke or can be a side effect of some medications.
While there is typically no “cure” for tinnitus there are ways to manage it. For most people, masking is successful at covering up or hiding the tinnitus. Since tinnitus usually presents with hearing loss, hearing aids are often used.
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