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What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of a continuous sound with no identifiable sound source in the environment.

This ringing can range from squeaks to hisses, whistles, hums or murmurs in one or both ears. The sound is especially perceived when there is no or little ambient noise. They can be all kinds of sounds: rustling, sound like the sea, whistling, rustling, musical sounds, high or low, continuous or alternating, loud or soft.

The name comes from the Latin tinnitus aurium, meaning ‘ringing of the ears’. A term used in the entertainment world is “disco-deafness. Tinnitus can also be caused by colds.