What is buzzing in ears?

The sound of buzzing or ringing in your ears in the absence of audible noise can be annoying. The symptom is attributed to a medical condition called tinnitus, which produces a sound that may resemble ringing, buzzing, clicking, hissing, clanging or wheezing. It is a common occurrence that can range in severity from being a nuisance to being a symptom of a medical emergency that should be evaluated immediately.

Ear Problems Spotlight

Tinnitus has no known direct cause, but it can be symptomatic of ear infections, foreign objects in the ear, allergies, high blood pressure, anemia, or a condition known as Meniere’s disease (swelling in part of the inner ear canal, causing dizziness and hearing loss). Alcohol, caffeine, and certain drugs are also contributing factors in some cases of tinnitus.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if the buzzing in your ear begins after a head injury, or if it is accompanied by such symptoms as nausea with or without vomiting, and dizziness or vertigo.

Seek prompt medical care if you have buzzing in your ear that is persistent, recurrent, or causes you concern.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with buzzing in ears?

Symptoms related to buzzing in the ears, attributed to a medical condition called tinnitus, may also include the sounds of ringing, clicking, hissing, clanging or wheezing. The volume may be very low or high, and the sound may occur in one or both ears. You may be barely aware of the buzzing in your ear, or it may distract you from your daily routines. Tinnitus results from the brain’s misinterpreting nerve signals as sound.... Read more about buzzing in earssymptoms

CAUSES

What causes buzzing in ears?

The ear canal is lined with tiny hairs that sense movement and vibration conveyed to the brain as sound. Tinnitus occurs when these cells in your ear that respond to sound waves malfunction and transmit electrical impulses that your brain misinterprets as sound.... Read more about buzzing in earscauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Ear, Nose and Throat


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