Oct 2017 Express.co.uk
Tinnitus is a condition where someone hears sounds that come from inside your body, rather than from an outside source. According to the NHS, it's often described as "ringing in the ears”. However, sufferers have also reported buzzing, humming, grinding, hissing and whistling sounds.
NBC Left Field have investigated what the conditions actually sounds like to sufferers in a video.
While it is rarely a sign of an underlying serious condition, tinnitus can cause sleeping problems, affect concentration and lead to depression. There are an estimated six million people who have tinnitus in the UK. The condition can be severely distressing, and lead to self-harm in suicide in some people. Sufferers may also notice that their hearing is not as good, and that they are more sensitive to everyday sounds.
It is not clear exactly why tinnitus happens, but it is often associated with age-related hearing loss, inner ear damage or an earwax build-up. Additionally, it may be caused by a middle ear infection, Ménière's disease - which also causes vertigo - and otosclerosis, where there is abnormal bone growth. However one in three people do not have any obvious problem with their ears or hearing.
Most people will experience tinnitus at some point after exposure to loud noises, like at a music concert. In the UK, one per cent - or 600,000 - experience it to the point where it affects their quality of life. It is most common in those over the age of 65. Often the condition will get better over time, and there are treatment options. According to the NHS, these include sound therapy, counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy and tinnitus retraining therapy.