More than a third of people occasionally hear noises in their ears for which there doesn't seem to be an outside source. If these noises don't disappear on their own after a while, a doctor should be consulted. Tinnitus retraining therapy can help for chronic cases.
- Thumping, tapping, buzzing or hissing
- Whistling, squeaking, ringing
- Whooshing, whizzing
The noises can vary from person to person. The most common symptom of chronic tinnitus is a high-pitched ringing.
- The noise is always there or only appears at specific times
- The sound is constant, pulsing, or gets louder and softer
- The quality of life can be affected, especially if the sounds within the ear are loud
Tinnitus can spontaneously stop for a while or disappear completely at any time.
Causes and treatment
- Impaired circulation in the inner ear
- Accident (with a blow to the head)
- Stress and other psychological factors
- Viral infection, middle ear infection, inflammation of the Eustachian tube
- Medication, poison, alcohol, nicotine
- Diabetes mellitus
- Underactive or overactive thyroid
- Muscular tension, in particular around the cervical spine
In many cases, however, the cause remains unclear.
Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital
- Hearing test (audiometry)
- Blood test (search for infection)
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
- Cortisone tablets
- Tinnitus retraining therapy comprises four areas:
- Explanation of disease
- Psychological counselling
- Relaxation methods
- Use of devices that produce sounds to mask the tinnitus
What can I do myself?
- Wear ear protectors
- Give your ears some rest without any noise