You are not alone. Up to 18% of people are affected by tinnitus (the fancy word for ringing in the ears). Thankfully, only 0.5% report that this has a severe effect on their daily life.
Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the ear that does not come from outside the body, from auditory hallucinations, or otherwise from within the body (like hearing a heartbeat in your ear).
This can occur all by itself, or it can occur with hearing loss. Ringing in the ear can occur from an aspirin or quinine overdose. Tinnitus can also be present even when hearing is normal.
Often tinnitus can have an insidious onset, meaning that it occurs so gradually that you are unaware that it is becoming louder. It can last for years or decades. Ringing can cause sleep disruption, an inability to concentrate, and depression.
There is NO clinically proven treatment for ringing of the ears. The treatments with unknown effectiveness are as follows…
- electromagnetic stimulation,
- ginkgo biloba,
- hearing aids,
- tinnitus masking devices,
- tinnitus retraining therapy.
Antidepressants may help with the associated depression if the ringing is disruptive to your life.
Hope this helps.