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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

Understanding Tinnitus -- the Basics

Tinnitus (pronounced ti-ni-tis), or ringing in the ears, is the sensation of hearing ringing, buzzing, hissing, chirping, whistling, or other sounds. The noise can be intermittent or continuous, and can vary in loudness. It is often worse when background noise is low, so you may be most aware of it at night when you're trying to fall asleep in a quiet room. In rare cases, the sound beats in sync with your heart (pulsatile tinnitus). Tinnitus is very common, affecting an estimated 50 million...

Read the Understanding Tinnitus -- the Basics 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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