Tinnitus refers to the perception of sound in the ear or head, without the presence of an external source. Tinnitus is usually a ringing sound, but can come in the form of a whooshing, roaring, whistling, humming, or chirping sound.
Tinnitus can affect one ear, both, or feel as if it is coming from the middle of the person’s head. It can be constant or intermittent, and of varying pitches.
Most people have been exposed to some form of tinnitus in their life, resulting from exposure to loud noises (e.g, attending a rock concert), or due to stress or certain medications. When tinnitus affects the individual for more than six months, it is referred to as chronic tinnitus. A hearing test is strongly recommended at this stage as tinnitus can be a symptom of permanent hearing loss.