Tinnitus: Ringing in the Ears
Tinnitus has commonly been described as a ringing in the ear, though the sounds could also be described as a hissing, clicking, whistling or whirring. Unfortunately, for many people, tinnitus is a daily and ongoing permanent reality.
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The most common cause of tinnitus is damage to the sensory cells in the cochlea. This is the snail shell-like organ in the inner ear where sounds are converted into electrical signals. Damage to the hair cells here can also cause hearing loss.
However, some people who experience tinnitus don’t have hearing loss; this means that there is more than one cause. Tinnitus can also be caused by a middle ear infection, earwax build-up, inflamed blood vessels around the ear, medications and other drugs, anxiety and stress.