Tinnitus is noises in the head, not related to any psychiatric condition. The noise can be heard anywhere in the head or in one or both ears. So far there are no scientific proven cure for tinnitus.
Imagine a constant ringing, buzzing or whistling in your ear, 24 hours a day. It is called tinnitus. You never get a break. It is always there. Nobody else but you can hear the noise because it does not come from any external source. Although you are the only person who can hear the noise it is not a result of your imagination.
Types of tinnitus
Tinnitus can vary a lot between individuals; therefore you can find many different types of tinnitus. Tinnitus varies considerably in intensity and type. Some people describe tinnitus as high-frequency whistling sounds while others perceive tinnitus as a buzzing noise or a sound similar to butter sizzling in a frying pan. But some experience, instead, a thumping sound in the same rhythm as their heartbeat. This is called pulsatile tinnitus.
Causes of tinnitus
What causes tinnitus? The causes of tinnitus may vary. But the most common cause of tinnitus is exposure to noise. But tinnitus may also be cause by e.g. drugs, diseases, stress and head injuries.
How many suffers from tinnitus?
Nobody knows how many suffers from tinnitus. Almost all of us experience tinnitus temporarily; perhaps for a few hours after a concert or any other occasion where our ears are subjected to noise. But for some tinnitus becomes persistent and/or increases. The majority of people who suffer from tinnitus find it very disturbing and uncomfortable.
Consequences of tinnitus
Many who suffer tinnitus experience side effects of their tinnitus. This may include psychological, physical and social problems. Some also experience stress, fatigue, emotional problems and depression.
More young people with tinnitus
Tinnitus is common in people over the age of 40, but is becoming increasingly prevalent in younger people, as well, because of increased daily noise levels, including those caused by the unrestrained use of MP3s, iPods and other personal stereos.