Cope Norcross, M.D., and Cheryl Drost, Au.D.
If you have ringing or buzzing in your ears, you are not alone. Ringing in the ears, or what doctors call tinnitus, is a common problem for more than 50 million people in the U.S. alone, or about 10-15 percent of all adults[i]. It can be troublesome enough to cause sleep disturbance, distract from work and interfere with enjoyment of life. Although ringing or buzzing are the most common sounds heard, tinnitus is any sound you hear that is not present in your external environment. Some people will hear humming, clicking, whistling, whooshing or any number of other sounds. Although it is very common, it is just a symptom of an underlying problem. Most of the time, it is due to hearing loss or loud noise exposures but less common causes include medications, tumors or blood vessel abnormalities.