Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus). Many people experience an occasional ringing (or roaring, hissing, buzzing, or tinkling) in their ears. The sound usually lasts only a few minutes. You may hear a sound, such as a ringing or roaring, that does not come from your surroundings (nobody else can hear it). First of all, Tinnitus can be very mild in loudness and only noticeable in a quiet room or it can become extremely loud and annoying to the point where the sufferer hears nothing else. It can be present all of the time or occur intermittently.
In addition, the loudness of the tinnitus often varies in intensity depending on several factors including stress, diet, and noise exposure. Furthermore, Tinnitus, like chronic pain, is subjective. While two people may report similar characteristics yet it may affect them in a significantly different manner. Due to the severity of the tinnitus is largely a function of the individual reaction to, or perception of, the tinnitus. Many tinnitus sufferers have difficulty sleeping and/or concentrating, and sometimes suffer from depression.
As a result as many as 360,000 Canadians suffer from annoying tinnitus. 150,000 Canadians experience a degree of tinnitus that significantly affects their quality of life*. While tinnitus does not cause hearing loss, it may accompany very low hearing and other symptoms such as a feeling of pressure in the ear and/or unsteadiness, dizziness or vertigo. However, for many people with tinnitus it occurs alone with no other symptoms.
*Tinnitus Association of Canada