Tinnitus is the ringing in the ears or perception of noise. Tinnitus is a very common problem that affects about 15 to 20 percent of people. Tinnitus isn't a condition itself — rather it's a symptom of an underlying condition.
Although bothersome, tinnitus usually isn't a sign of something serious. For many, it can worsen with age but improve with treatment. Treating an identified underlying cause can help and other treatments may reduce or mask the noise, making the buzzing less noticeable.
Tinnitus involves the sensation of hearing sound when none is present. Tinnitus symptoms may include the following phantom noises in your ears:
The phantom noise may vary in pitch from a low buzz to a high squeal, and you may hear it in one or both ears. These sounds may be present all the time, or it may come and go and in some cases, the sound can be so loud it can interfere with your ability to focus or hear other sounds.
If you have tinnitus that bothers you, it's time to see your doctor.