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What are common symptoms of tinnitus?

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Quick Answer

Common symptoms of tinnitus include the sensation of hearing ringing, hissing, buzzing, whistling, chirping or other sounds. The sounds can be intermittent or continuous and may vary in volume range, notes WebMD.

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Full Answer

Excessive exposure to loud sounds is the most common cause of tinnitus. Around 90 percent of people with tinnitus have a degree of noise-induced hearing loss, reports WebMD. Noise causes permanent damage to the inner ear by damaging the cells of the cochlea. Typically, people consistently around loud noise, such as carpenters, pilots, rock musicians, street-repair workers and landscapers are at considerable risk for tinnitus.

However, a single exposure to a sudden, very loud noise can also cause tinnitus, explains WebMD. Besides noise, causes of tinnitus can include blockages of the ear due to buildup of wax, ear infections and benign tumors. In addition, the side effects of certain drugs, such as aspirin, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, sedatives and antidepressants, may include tinnitus.

If the tinnitus is caused by an underlying medical condition, treatment involves the curing or alleviating of that illness. If tinnitus remains after treatment or has been caused by exposure to loud noise, experts recommend using masking devices to reduce unwanted noise. In some cases, tinnitus goes away without intervention, but not all cases of tinnitus can be eliminated or reduced, according to WebMD. Some cases can be alleviated with proper cleaning of the ear, and in rarer cases, surgery may be necessary.

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