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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

Mastoiditis

Mastoiditis is a bacterial infection of the mastoid bone. The mastoid bone, which sits behind the ear, consists of air spaces that help drain the middle ear. When the mastoid cells become infected or inflamed, often as a result of an unresolved middle ear infection (otitis media), mastoiditis can develop. In acute mastoiditis, infection may spread outside of the mastoid bone and cause serious health complications. Mastoiditis typically affects children, but adults can also be affected. Some...

Read the Mastoiditis 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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