The ABC Radio National program, "The Body Sphere" aired a program entitled "Tinnitus: tormented by noise" on Sunday, 7 September 2014.
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Tinnitus, from the Latin word tinnitus meaning "ringing", is a condition in which a person perceives noises or ringing when no external physical sound is present.
Despite the origin of the name, "ringing" is only one of the many sounds perceived. Other noises can include buzzing, whistling, roaring or humming.
Tinnitus is not a disease but a condition that can result from a wide range of underlying causes, with the most common cause being noise-induced hearing loss.
Other causes can include:
neurological damage (eg multiple sclerosis, ear infections, oxidative stress, emotional stress)
foreign objects in the ear
nasal allergies that prevent (or induce) fluid drain
Meniere’s disease (swelling of a duct in the ear)
some prescription medications