What is Tinnitus?

An image of a man taken from behind his left shoulder.

According to the British Tinnitus Association, 30% of us will experience Tinnitus at some point in our lifetime and 10% of us will have persistent tinnitus. But what is it?

Tinnitus is when you hear a ringing or other sound in your ears that isn’t actually coming from anywhere. You might have experienced this for a short time after listening to loud music or consistent noise. But for some it is continuous and can come and go at any time.

It is unclear exactly what causes tinnitus but Action on Hearing Loss says that two-thirds of people who have tinnitus also have a hearing loss. There is also a link between stress and tinnitus – stress can be a trigger or tinnitus can cause an increase to stress and anxiety. It is also linked to older age and exposure to loud noises.

If you think you might have tinnitus, go to your GP who will be able to test you and, if necessary refer you to a specialist. For information, advice, help and support with tinnitus or any other hearing problem call our Freephone Information and Advice Line on 0800 132320 or text 07950 008870.

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