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Ringing in the ears

About Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a ringing, buzzing, humming, roaring, or other noise in your ear. You might hear it in only one ear or in both. The pitch or sound might change, and it can come and go.

Usually only the person with tinnitus can hear the sound. It can be caused by:

  • Too much ear wax
  • Loose hair from the ear canal
  • An ear infection
  • Spasms of the muscles in your ear
  • Certain medications
  • Tumors

Certain health conditions and lifestyle factors can also cause tinnitus. They are:

  • Thyroid problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Noise exposure

Tinnitus can be an early warning sign of hearing loss, so tell your doctor about any ringing or noises in your ears.


Depending on what is causing your tinnitus, your doctor might be able to help you stop the noise in your ears. If not, you can cope with the annoyance through:

  • Meditation and relaxation exercises
  • Hearing aids
  • Medication
  • Counseling
  • Cochlear implants or electrical stimulation
  • Sound therapy, like white noise
  • Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT)
  • TMJ treatment

Some people find their tinnitus is less of a problem if they:

  • Avoid loud sounds and noises
  • Control their blood pressure
  • Reduce salt in their diet
  • Avoid caffeine and tobacco
  • Exercise daily
  • Get enough rest
  • Try to ignore the noise

Our Physicians

Rex ENT Specialists can help you deal with tinnitus. Dr. John A. Garside, M.D., specializes in treating ear, nose and throat disorders in adults and children.


To find out more about tinnitus, visit the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

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