Medical Definition of Ear ringing

Ear ringing: Together with other abnormal ear noises, ear ringing is medically called tinnitus. It is a symptom of a problem, not a disease.

Tinnitus may be due to many causes including ear infection, fluid in the ears, Ménière's syndrome, medications such as aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aging, and ear trauma (such as from the noise of planes, firearms, or loud music). In rare situations, tinnitus may reflect an aneurysm or an acoustic neuroma (a benign tumor on the acoustic nerve).

Woodwind players are more likely to experience tinnitus than other orchestral players, probably because they usually sit just in front of the brass.

If tinnitus persists a hearing test (audiogram) should be done. Sometimes, measures can be taken to lessen the intensity of tinnitus or to mask it.

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Last Editorial Review: 6/9/2016

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