Tinnitus is the perception of noises in the ear or head in the absence of an external sound source. This may occur as an isolated symptom but commonly accompanies other conditions that may affect the ear.
Tinnitus may affect one ear or both. It may be intermittent or continuous. A particular form of tinnitus is that which is pulse synchronous or pulsatile. The patient describes a rushing sound synchronous with his heartbeat or pulse rate. This suggests a vascular cause.
Commonly tinnitus however is often described as a ringing, buzzing or whistling sound, which is generally continuous.
Your Neuro-Otologist will carry out a detailed clinical assessment. An audiogram is performed to determine your hearing. In some situations, imaging such as CT or MRI may be advised.
If a cause is identified, this should be treated. The commonest form of tinnitus often does not have an identifiable cause and is associated with sensorineural deafness. In such cases the main stay of treatment is the rehabilitation of deafness and tinnitus retraining therapy.