Tinnitus is the name given to sound or noise heard in the head that does not come from an external source. Tinnitus comes from the Latin word tinnire which means “to ring”, but not everybody will hear their tinnitus as a ringing sound. Some people describe a buzzing, hissing, humming, or chirping sound, while others may even hear it as music! Tinnitus can range in volume and pitch and can be heard in one or both ears or in the head. Some people describe more that one sound and the sound can come and go or vary in intensity.
Tinnitus is a symptom and not a disease, and there are various underlying causes. Common causes are hearing loss or earwax build-up; tinnitus can also be due to head injuries or can even originate in the jaw or neck.
Two types of tinnitus
The most common type of tinnitus is Subjective Tinnitus. This is awareness of sound in the head or ears in the absence of any corresponding external sound. Objective Tinnitus – is when sounds are generated from within the body and can be heard by an external examiner. These sound may be generated by blood flow or muscle movement, or the opening and closing of the eustation tube, they are also known as Somatosounds.