Tinnitus (or "ringing in the ears") is sound or noise that no one but the person with the condition can hear. The noise can be constant or come in short bursts; it can last for long periods of time or go away fairly soon. The sound can be loud or soft, can change in pitch, and can be heard in one or both ears. Each person who has tinnitus can probably describe it in a different way.
It is estimated that about 10% to 15% of the population experience tinnitus. Some studies have shown that the prevalence of troublesome tinnitus increases with age, and it impacts both men and women equally.