Dr. Ted Meyer

What Is Tinnitus? 

Tinnitus is the sound of ringing, roaring, buzzing, hissing, or clicking in the ear(s) or head. Sounds may come and go, be continuous, occur in one or both ears, and vary in pitch. Occasionally the tinnitus has a pulsatile quality that goes with the heartbeat. More than 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from tinnitus. For many, symptoms are so severe that it interferes with daily activities. We become more concerned when tinnitus is only heard in one ear.

MUSC Health ENT would be pleased to assist you or your loved ones. Please call us at 843-792-3531 to schedule an appointment with our team. We look forward to meeting you to help you on your path to a healthy quality of life.

What Causes Tinnitus?

Tinnitus may result from:

  • Damage to nerve endings in the inner ear
  • Stiffening of bones in the middle ear
  • Advancing age
  • Exposure to loud noises
  • Allergy
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Abnormal blood flow in a vessel close to the ear
  • Tumors of the ear
  • Spasm of an ear muscle
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid problems
  • Head or neck injury
  • Reaction to certain medications
  • Wax buildup
  • Jaw misalignment

Treatment For Tinnitus

Treatment is determined based on age, overall health, medical history, extent of the disease, and expectations for progression. Treatments to address symptoms include:

  • Hearing aids
  • Cochlear implants
  • Maskers (small electronic device to make ringing seem softer)
  • Medication
  • Counseling
  • Relaxation
  • Surgery (for tumors, abnormal blood flow, or ear muscle spasms)