Do You Hear That?
Is it too late to stop that ringing in your ears?
Tinnitus is one of the most irritating conditions imaginable.
It is defined as the perception of sound, despite no actual external stimulus. In plain English this means you hear noise when there’s not actually any noise.
This can mean ringing (most common), buzzing, hissing, whistling, roaring, etc. It can be continuous or come and go intermittently. In some cases, it can be so severe that people lose sleep, lose concentration, and develop depression.
Studies suggest somewhere between 8% and 25% of the US population suffers from tinnitus, making it one of the most common diseases we experience. Men are more likely to suffer tinnitus than women.
The root cause of tinnitus is variable and will be discussed later in this article. The cause of the perceived noise is damage or irritation to the auditory nerve, known most commonly as the cochlear nerve. This nerve runs from the cochlea, the organ involved in sensing sound, to the brain. You can see the path in the image below.