Tinnitus refers to ringing or noise in one or both ears that is not caused by an external sound. Only the affected person can hear it. Tinnitus is often a symptom of an underlying condition, such as presbycusis (hearing loss caused by old age) or ear trauma.
Tinnitus is a common problem affecting around 20% of adults. It can range from a low roaring sound to a high squealing pitch. Although it can be annoying, tinnitus is not a serious problem and can be treated.