Tinnitus: Why Are My Ears Ringing?

A woman attempts to silence her tinnitus by covering her ears.
A sound wave oscillates on a black background.
Tinnitus can originate from the outer ear, middle ear, inner ear, or it can be due to abnormalities in the brain.
A doctor uses an audiometer to conduct a hearing test on a patient with tinnitus.
A doctor examines the ear of a female patient who suffers from tinnitus.
A doctor discusses tinnitus medications with a patient.
A man considers different relief therapies for tinnitus.
A doctor examines a patient's ear for possible causes of tinnitus.
Do not use cotton swabs (Q-tips) to clean your ears since this can cause wax impaction against the eardrum, which can cause tinnitus.
If necessary, protect your hearing at work with earplugs or earmuffs to avoid increasing the risk of tinnitus.
Wear protective earplugs or earmuffs at loud events to protect your hearing.
Be careful when using music headphones with loud music as it may contribute to tinnitus.
Everyday noises, such as blow-drying your hair or using a lawn mower, can be a cause of tinnitus.
Quitting smoking and decreasing your consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages may help prevent tinnitus.
Tinnitus occurs more frequently in obese adults.
Close-up of an ear.

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Reviewed by Peter O’Connor, MD on Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tinnitus: Why Are My Ears Ringing?

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