ZocdocAnswersIf my ears are ringing do I have tinnitus?

Question

If my ears are ringing do I have tinnitus?

Last couple of days my ears have been ringing. Does that mean I have tinnitus or is something less serious causing this?

Answer

Tinnitus is defined as the perception of sound within the ear in the absence of corresponding external sound. So, yes, you are suffering from tinnitus. However, tinnitus is not a disease in itself but rather a symptom. Tinnitus is quite common and can range from mildly annoying to so severe that it interferes with everyday life. It can be in one or both ears and is usually described as ringing but can also sound like buzzing, clicking, roaring, etc. There are many possible causes of tinnitus, ranging from very benign to more serious. It is very important that you see your primary care doctor to discuss your symptoms, have a complete medical exam, and obtain appropriate treatment. Some possible causes of tinnitus are exposure to loud sounds - even for a brief period of time, an infection of the ear, a foreign body in the ear (this can include wearing internal headphones), nasal allergies, side effect of certain medications, as well as a sign of hearing loss. Make a note of any other symptoms that you are having and avoid putting anything in your ears such as headphones. Again, make an appointment with your primary care doctor to get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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