What Is It?
Tinnitus, commonly called ringing in the ears, is the sensation of hearing a sound in the ears when no such sound exists. This sound, which comes from inside the head, typically is described as a ringing, but it also can take the form of an annoying hiss, whistle or buzz. Tinnitus can be constant or can come and go.
Most often, tinnitus is a symptom of an ear problem, such as:
Age-related hearing loss
Inner ear damage from loud noise
Middle ear damage caused by a sudden change in pressure (barotrauma)
Occasionally, tinnitus is a side effect of medication. Aspirin in moderate to high doses often causes tinnitus.