Tinnitus is the word used to describe sounds a person hears inside their head that aren’t coming from outside. This can be ringing, humming, whistling or cicadas. Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss; ie aging, blocked ears, industrial noise, drug toxicity to the ears, ear trauma or infections.
Tinnitus in only one ear may need further tests carried out to exclude a benign tumour of the balance nerve (an acoustic neuroma).
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If you hear your pulse in your ear (pulsatile tinnitus) this needs to be checked urgently by your doctor.
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