Tinnitus is the perception of sounds such as ringing, buzzing, or hissing within the ear when these sounds are not present in the environment. It is experienced by an estimated 50 million Americans and is usually associated with sensorineural hearing loss.
When ear wax or any foreign object touches the eardrum, it can block outside noise from coming in, and noises in the ear can be the results. The brain tries to compensate for missing sounds by replacing them with phantom sounds. The same thing occurs with a noise-induced hearing loss, where damage is done to the inner ear, and the brain is replacing missed sounds with phantom sounds. 90% of tinnitus suffers have some level of noise-induced hearing loss.