Treatment of tinnitus involves managing an underlying condition and may include earwax removal, treating a blood vessel condition and changing medications that can cause the disorder, according to Mayo Clinic. Noise suppression and certain medications, although not a cure, can be used to diminish the bothersome effects of tinnitus.
As of 2015, tinnitus is very common, affecting an estimated 50 million adults in the United States, notes WebMD. Tinnitus is described as the ringing, roaring, clicking, hissing or buzzing in the ears that may be soft or loud, high or low in pitch and in either one or both ears, according to MedlinePlus.
Causes of tinnitus include hearing loss in older people, exposure to loud noises, ear and sinus infections, and problems with the heart or blood vessels, notes MedlinePlus. Meniere's disease, brain tumors, hormonal changes in women and thyroid problems may also cause tinnitus.
For most people, tinnitus is little more than an annoyance, but more severe cases can result in difficulty concentrating and sleeping, interference with work and personal relationships, and psychological distress, explains WebMD. Drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, drinking caffeinated beverages and eating certain foods can worsen tinnitus. Although researchers remain unclear as to the reasons, tinnitus also seems to worsen with stress and fatigue.