Tinnitus: Facts, Theories, and Treatments
Committee on Hearing, Bioacoustics, and Biomechanics, National Research Council
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Hearing sounds that do not originate in the world outside the body is an experience that probably every human has at one time or another in life. The sounds heard range from popping and clicking to intermittent roaring and buzzing to continuous pure-tones. In their diversity, these experiences have two things in common: they all originate, in one way or another, from inside the head, and they are all known as tinnitus. Tinnitus can accompany a wide array of serious and minor disorders of the ear and of the body in general. As shall be seen, some causes are reasonably well understood, but most are not. Effective palliative treatment has been established for some forms of tinnitus, but for most, effectiveness of treatment continues to be unpredictable. The following section provides an overview of the tinnitus problem and of the various topics that are discussed in detail in subsequent sections.
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