This hearing disorder is characterized by ringing or whistling in the ear, or a succession of notes, almost like music. A common cause is over-exposure to sudden or continuous loud noise resulting in damage to the part of the inner ear concerned with hearing -- often the cochlea. The brain interprets the malfunction as a sound. Related or aggravating conditions may be due to poor blood circulation, lack of vitamin B (essential for the nervous system), cervical osteoarthritis, deafness caused by quinine or aspirin, Meniere's disease or a tumour in the ear.
It is estimates that one in six adults suffers from tinnitus at some point in their lives.