Last updated on 12 March 2015
Tinnitus is the term for noises heard ‘in the ear or ears’ or ‘in the head’ when no obvious source of sound is apparent.
The noises are usually described as ringing, whistling, hissing, buzzing or humming. Tinnitus is not a disease or an illness, it is a non-specific symptom, that can be brought on by a mental or physical ‘change’, not necessarily related to hearing. In a mild form, tinnitus is extremely common. Almost everyone gets the occasional ringing in the ears, either without any clear trigger or after exposure to loud sounds, be it at work or socially. About 10% of us experience tinnitus frequently and approximately 5% of the adult population in the UK experience persistent or troublesome tinnitus.
If you think you have tinnitus, go and see your GP. You may need to be referred to an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist or an Audiovestibular Physician, who will take a full medical history and provide a thorough examination. Based on this, medical conditions related to the tinnitus can be confirmed or ruled out, and thereby provide a basis for more specific tinnitus management.
Listed below are our leaflets which deal with tinnitus. They have been written by leading professionals in the tinnitus field. Each leaflet has been carefully vetted and regularly revised so that you can be sure it contains only up-to-date and reliable information.
If you would like to read, download or print off the leaflet, please click on the relevant title below. You will need Adobe Reader to read the leaflets, which can be obtained free of charge here. If you are unable to download the leaflet and would like a copy sent to you, please call the helpline on 0800 018 0527.
We are happy to supply bulk copies of leaflets to health professionals, contact us for full details and prices.
Tinnitus and related conditions
- All about tinnitus
- Musical hallucinations (musical tinnitus)
- Pulsatile tinnitus
Treatment and management of tinnitus
- Complementary therapy for tinnitus - an opinion
- Hearing aids and tinnitus
- Self help for tinnitus
- Sound therapy
- Sources of mutual support for tinnitus
- Supporting someone with tinnitus
- Taming tinnitus
- Tinnitus services
Tinnitus and other conditions
- Balance and tinnitus
- Tinnitus and sleep disturbance
- Tinnitus and disorders of the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) and neck
- Tinnitus and stress
- Drugs and tinnitus
- Food, drink and tinnitus
- Ear wax removal and tinnitus
- Flying and the ear
- Information for musicians
- Noise and the ear
Leaflets for children
We have three leaflets available for children with tinnitus. Please contact us if you would like to receive a copy.
- Ellie, Leila and Jack have tinnitus (information booklet for under 8s)
- Tinnitus (information booklet for 8-11 year olds)
- Tinnitus (information booklet for 11-16 year olds)
up-to-date and reliable information