Tinnitus Symptoms

Last Updated: March 17 2022

Tinnitus (pathological ringing of the ears) is known to be affected by various supplements, which may reduce the degree tinnitus disturbs sleep or impairs quality of life.

Summary

Tinnitus[1] is defined as a condition during which a person hears sound that isn’t caused by an external source. The sound most people with tinnitus describe is a steady, high-pitched ringing, but the sound has also been described as continuous or intermittent whistling, static, whooshing, musical noise, or buzzing. Approximately 1 in 10 adults[2] in the U.S. experienced at least one bout of tinnitus over the course of a year, with just over a third of those reporting chronic problems. If tinnitus is persistent and intolerable or extremely bothersome, it can cause functional impairment[3] in thought processing, emotional state, hearing, sleep, and concentration.

There are two general types of tinnitus. Objective tinnitus (about 5% of cases) refers to sounds that are able to be heard with external instruments, such as a stethoscope. This type of tinnitus is usually caused by damage to the bones or vasculature of the ear. Subjective tinnitus (about 95% of cases) refers to sounds that cannot be heard from the outside and is thought to be caused by damage to the neuronal system of the ear. Figure 1 provides more detail about the differences between these types.

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