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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is when you hear ringing, clicking, buzzing, or hissing in one or both ears. You may also hear whistling, chirping, or pulsing. It may be soft or loud, and at a low or high pitch. Tinnitus that lasts longer than 6 months is considered chronic.

What causes or increases my risk for tinnitus?

Tinnitus may be caused by problems with your hearing system, including the parts of your brain that sort out sounds. Tinnitus may also be caused by a health condition, such as Ménière disease. The following may increase your risk:

How is tinnitus diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and examine your ears, jaw, and neck. Tell your provider if you have tinnitus all the time or if it comes and goes. Your provider may ask if anything makes it worse, such as stress or anxiety. You may also need any of the following tests:

How is tinnitus treated?

You may not need treatment. Your symptoms may only appear when you are anxious or stressed. Your healthcare provider may stop certain medicines that may be causing your tinnitus. You may also need medicines to help decrease your symptoms. The following can help treat or manage tinnitus:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

How can I help prevent tinnitus?

Call 911 if:

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Learn more about Tinnitus

Treatment options

Symptoms and treatments

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.