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Tinnitus is the perception of a sound in the absence of an actual external sound source. The word tinnitus has Latin roots, meaning "to ring or tinkle." Either pronunciation of this word is acceptable: ti-NIGHT-us or TINN-a-tus.
Tinnitus is always a symptom and never a condition within itself. Various causes for tinnitus include:
What Should I Do if I Have Tinnitus?
It is important to have an assessment completed by an Ear Nose and Throat Physician to rule out, underlying medical conditions, although rare. As tinnitus is commonly associated with hearing loss, a hearing assessment with an audiologist is recommended. Approximately 80% of people with tinnitus have some degree of hearing loss. The audiologist can also advise on the appropriate treatment and management of tinnitus.
Tinnitus is a symptom and not a disease. It is commonly referred to as ringing in the ears.