Tinnitus is a phantom sound in one or both ears -- that is, a sound that is heard but has no external source. It's generally described as "ringing in the ears," but isn't necessarily a ringing sound. Some of the ways tinnitus can sound are:
- Chirping (such as a cricket's sound)
- Roaring (like ocean waves)
There are many causes of tinnitus, including infection, Meniere's disease, acoustical nerve tumors, compressed blood vessels, aging, ear trauma, and many more, even a build-up of ear wax. It may also be a side effect of medications such as streptomycin (an antibiotic) or trazodone (an antidepressant).