Often referred to as ‘ringing in the ears’, tinnitus is a condition in which noises, such as ringing or buzzing or other forms of phantom sounds, can be heard in the ear, in both ears, or in the middle of the head in the absence of a physical source. The noises can vary in loudness and pitch, and can be very disturbing and affective of a person’s life.
Often, but not always, tinnitus can be an indicator and initial symptom of an acoustic neuroma being present, especially if it is present mostly (or solely) in one ear. However, there are many other possible triggers of tinnitus, and the root cause is not altogether understood. It is considered, however, one of the primary symptoms of an acoustic neuroma, given the tumour’s location in the auditory canal and impact on auditory nerve function.
Those with tinnitus may find that it becomes louder when they are not preoccupied or at night, when external noises are otherwise quiet, and these factors can affect sufferers’ sleep and quality of life.