The most common type of tinnitus is the sensation of hearing sound while there is no external sound present (this is called subjective tinnitus). The sounds associated with subjective tinnitus are often referred to as “phantom noises” as the sound comes from the inside and no one except for the sufferer can hear it. In rarer cases, one might have objective tinnitus, where someone else may be able to hear the same sound you are hearing – this is referred to as objective tinnitus and may be caused by a blood vessel problem, muscle contractions or a middle ear bone condition.
Some tinnitus symptoms can change and intertwine as well. Noises heard can often sound like air escaping, crickets, the inside of a seashell, running water, or musical notes.
Below is a list of tinnitus symptoms for the most common type of tinnitus (subjective tinnitus).
Subjective Tinnitus Symptoms
- Buzzing – A sound that fades in and out quickly.
- Whistling – A continuous high-pitch sound or a sound as if wind is passing through.
- Roaring – Deeper sound that can sometimes sound a bit like an animal.
- Hissing – Can sometimes come off as sounding a little “fuzzy,” also sound as if air is escaping.
- Heartbeat – If you hear an amplified sound of your heartbeat in your ears, this is referred to as pulsatile tinnitus. This occurs when there is a blood vessel problem, such as having high blood pressure, blockage in the ear canal or the eustachian tube, and an aneurysm or a tumor.
- Humming or Rushing (Whoosh) – Mostly noticeable while exercising or changing position; for instance, when you go from lying down to standing up.
- High-Pitched Ringing – Often sounding like a teapot, experiencing a high-pitched ringing phantom noise as a tinnitus symptom is most commonly from a loud noise or blow to the ear. High-pitched ringing, or a high-pitched buzzing, can disappear within a few hours; however, if hearing loss occurs at the same time, it could become permanent tinnitus. There are also a few other causes of tinnitus that are associated with high-pitched ringing as a tinnitus symptom.
- Low-Pitched Ringing – Conditions like Meniere’s disease can cause you to experience a low-pitched ringing noise in one ear. Meniere’s disease is an inner ear disease that usually affects one ear and can cause extreme cases of dizziness or vertigo. Tinnitus may become louder before you experience a vertigo attack where your surroundings feel as if they are spinning or moving. Stiff inner ear bones, known as otosclerosis, may also cause low-pitched tinnitus symptoms (these tinnitus symptoms triggered by otosclerosis can be either ongoing or every now and then).
These phantom noises may come and go or be consistent. These phantom noises can range in pitch from being very low to becoming a high squeal. There are times where these tinnitus symptoms can become so loud to the person with tinnitus that it can interfere with their daily lives, including their ability to concentrate and hear other external sounds. Tinnitus symptoms may also occur in either one or both ears.
Objective Tinnitus Symptoms
Objective tinnitus symptoms are from a physical occurrence and may be audible to others. Below are a few objective tinnitus symptoms:
- Clicking – Hearing a clicking sound as a tinnitus symptom is usually from muscle contractions in and around your ear. The muscle contractions create these sharp clicking noises you ear and appear in bursts, lasting between a few seconds up to a few minutes.
- Cervical Venous Hum – A murmur heard in the anterior neck and sometimes in the upper chest. This cervical venous hum appears louder as you sit with your head extended and becomes softer, or sometimes absent, with a rotation or bending of the head or while applying light pressure over the person’s jugular vein as they are sitting or lying flat.
- Nasal Breathing – If your objective tinnitus occurs with a difference in nasal breathing at the same time then it could be associated with the eustachian tube (a canal connecting the middle ear to the nasopharynx, consisting of the upper throat and back of your nasal cavity). The eustachian tube controls the pressure in the middle ear and makes it equal to the pressure outside of your body. This nasal breathing alongside your tinnitus can gradually disappear as you lie down and transition to sniffling, snorting or a Valsalva maneuver (a specific way of breathing that increases pressure on the chest and causes different effects within the body such as blood pressure and heart rate).
If any of these symptoms occur, it is highly recommended that you seek out a professional as soon as possible:
- Sudden tinnitus without an apparent cause
- Hearing loss that occurs with the tinnitus
- Dizziness accompanied with the tinnitus
The most common tinnitus symptoms are temporary (typically 48 hours), but if you experience any of the above tinnitus symptoms continuously looking into an all-natural tinnitus treatment will help improve your symptoms and even eradicate them.
For those who may have felt sudden tinnitus symptoms to occur without a known cause of tinnitus, develop hearing loss alongside their tinnitus, or experience dizziness during any of the tinnitus symptoms then there could be a serious cause of the tinnitus symptoms they are having.
Tinnitus symptoms occur for a reason and the reason could be either mild or severe. Whether your tinnitus symptoms came from a small event or a more serious experience, tinnitus symptoms can be improved without the use of medication and surgery.
It is also highly recommended that an all-natural tinnitus treatment is considered before trying medication, as medications do not only cause various side effects, but can contribute to worsening the tinnitus symptoms as well and they do not target the underlying cause of tinnitus.