Buzzing a?? Whooshing a?? Hissing a?? Ringing

Q: I hear a constant hissing is my ears that began years ago. How can I get rid of it? 

A: The hissing you hear is called tinnitus. About 15 percent of all American have tinnitus in some form of buzzing, whooshing, hissing or ringing that they hear at all times. Tinnitus is not a disease or a condition. It is a symptom caused by many different things such as noise exposure, various medical conditions or certain medications. Though there is no cure for tinnitus, there are varying ways to manage it. More information is available at the American Tinnitus Association website at

For individuals with hearing loss, using properly programmed hearing aids can reduce the effect of tinnitus. They do this by allowing a person to hearing natural sounds more easily and thereby cover up or mask the ringing from the tinnitus. It is also possible for people without a typical hearing loss to feel relief from their tinnitus when wearing carefully adjusted hearing aids.