Tinnitus, while perceived in the ear, actually occurs in the brain. When the delicate hair cells inside the cochlea are damaged or over–stimulated, the result is tinnitus. To date, there is no cure for this condition. The number of people affected is growing fast and statistics show that one in five people suffer from tinnitus. Tinnitus is also the leading “souvenir” that veterans retain from service.
Although tinnitus is often described as ‘ringing in the ears’, the variety of sounds and combinations that people perceive are as widespread as the condition. The onset and cause is as varied as the sounds people hear. Regardless of how it began and what it sounds like, tinnitus can range from a bothersome condition to a debilitating one, impacting not only the day–to–day lives of the individuals affected, but their families and loved ones as well.