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Understanding Tinnitus -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Tinnitus?

The symptoms of tinnitus include a noise in the ears, such as ringing, roaring, buzzing, hissing, or whistling; the noise may be intermittent or continuous.

Most of the time, only the person who has tinnitus can hear it (subjective tinnitus). However, there are some types that the doctor can hear if a stethoscope is put in the ear (objective tinnitus).

Recommended Related to Ear Infection

Understanding Ear Infections: Diagnosis and Treatment

If you or your child has an earache that is accompanied (in some cases) by a stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat and fever, it is likely that the ear pain is due to an ear infection.  Your doctor will examine the eardrum with an instrument called an otoscope for signs of infection -- not an easy task if the patient is a fussy infant. The doctor may also check for blockage or filling of the middle ear using a pneumatic otoscope, which blows a little air at the eardrum. This air should cause the...

Read the Understanding Ear Infections: Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

Call Your Doctor About Tinnitus If:

  • You have any symptoms of tinnitus; it could be a symptom of an underlying health problem, such as high blood pressure or an underactive thyroid, both treatable conditions.
  • The noise is accompanied by pain or drainage from the ear; these may be signs of an ear infection.
  • The noise is accompanied by dizziness; this may be a sign of Meniere's disease or a neurological problem. Seek medical care immediately.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on February 28, 2015

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