Besides the sensation of sound in the ears, tinnitus does not have any other symptoms. However, tinnitus can be a symptom of other underlying conditions. In 90% of tinnitus cases, tinnitus is a symptom of hearing loss, particulary noise-induced hearing loss. Prolonged exposure to loud noises can damage the structures of the inner ear and lead to tinnitus.
Tinnitus may also be a symptom of some other underlying conditions, including:
- Blockage of the ear from ear wax or an ear infection
- Meniere’s Disease, which affects the inner ear
- TMJ syndrome
- Certain medications, called ototoxic medications (these may include aspirin, some antibiotics, quinine medications, and chemotherapy agents)
- A rare benign tumor on the acoustic nerve
If you experience tinnitus that syncs with your heart beat, you have pulsatile tinnitus. Pulsatile tinnitus may be a symptom of high blood pressure or circulatory problems.