Understanding Tinnitus -- Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by Minesh Khatri, MD on November 12, 2021

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).


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, or a side effect of any number of medications. 
  • 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.


Show Sources

American Tinnitus Foundation.
American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
The Mayo Clinic.
University of Texas Medical Branch.

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