“Tinnitus” (ringing or buzzing in the ears) typically occurs as a result of overexposure to loud noises that damage the hair cells of the inner ear. Consequently, musicians, landscapers, factory workers, police/fire/ambulance workers, military personnel, and power tool users are afflicted with chronic buzzing in their ears. Although tinnitus’ exact cause remains elusive, the problem probably rests with noise-related damage in the inner ear that disrupts how sound is processed by the brain. With this in mind, it is interesting to point out that clinical trials involving “transcranial magnetic stimulation” (TMS) significantly improved symptoms in more than half of study participants. TMS, which generates a magnetic field that affects the activity of brain neurons, needs more study.

P.S. If hearing loss accompanies tinnitus, a hearing instrument may prove beneficial. Masking devices, which emit sounds that mask tinnitus, may also be effective.