Commonly mistaken as a condition itself, tinnitus is actually a symptom of an underlying problem that may include ear injury, hearing loss, or a circulatory system disorder. Though not usually serious, tinnitus can get worse with age and can be quite bothersome to those who suffer from it.
There are two types of tinnitus, subjective and objective. Subjective tinnitus is tinnitus only you can hear, and is the most common. It can be caused by problems in your inner, outer, or middle ear, or your auditory nerves or auditory pathways. Objective tinnitus is tinnitus your doctor can also hear during an exam. This type may be due to a middle ear bone condition, muscle contractions, or a blood vessel problem.
If you occasionally or frequently hear a buzzing, ringing, or humming in your ear, you may have tinnitus.