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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).

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An acoustic neuroma is a noncancerous growth that develops on the eighth cranial nerve. Also known as the vestibulocochlear nerve, it connects the inner ear with the brain and has two different parts. One part is involved in transmitting sound; the other helps send balance information from the inner ear to the brain.  Acoustic neuromas -- sometimes called vestibular schwannomas or neurolemmomas -- usually grow slowly over a period of years. Although they do not actually invade the brain, they can...

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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 Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 27, 2014

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