Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears)
Tinnitus (TIN-i-tus or ti-NIGHT-us), commonly referred to as “ringing in the ears,” is the perception of sound where no external source is present.
Most commonly caused by noise exposure, tinnitus impacts up to 50 million Americans and of those, 16 million suffer from chronic tinnitus and have sought medical attention for their condition. Tinnitus is the top service-connected disability for veterans from all periods of service and is impacting returning personnel from Iraq and Afghanistan in historic numbers.
The exact physiological causes for tinnitus are unknown. There are several hypothetical sources that are known to trigger or worsen the sensation of tinnitus. Likely causes for tinnitus include noise exposure, head and neck trauma, cardiovascular disease or other medical disorders, or exposure to ototoxic chemicals or medications. More information about the symptoms, causes and possible treatments for tinnitus can be found at the American Tinnitus Association website.