Types
of tinnitus


Although tinnitus is a very common condition, everyone’s tinnitus is slightly different. There are different types of tinnitus, and it’s likely your tinnitus will fall within one of these categories.
 

Subjective tinnitus

This is the most common type of tinnitus, and it is often caused by exposure to loud noise. Subjective tinnitus is something only you can hear. 
 
It can come and go, and can vary in length and intensity. Tinnitus is a struggle for many people as the sound overtakes other relevant sounds in the environment making it difficult to focus on what’s important to you. 
 
Subjective tinnitus is usually treated with hearing aids that play a calming noise, distracting you from the ringing, buzzing or other sounds that are experienced with this type of tinnitus. 
Sound barometer.

Sensory tinnitus

Most people who experience tinnitus, have sensory tinnitus. Sensory tinnitus is typically a side effect of an impaired auditory system. To date, there is no known cure for sensory tinnitus, but using an established tinnitus management program can help manage the tinnitus and reduce its negative effects.
 
Sensory tinnitus is actually a form of subjective tinnitus. It’s usually caused by various disorders that affect the way the brain processes sound.
 
You may feel and off-balance if you have sensory tinnitus.  
Man with arms crossed | Resound

Somatic tinnitus

Somatic tinnitus is a type of tinnitus that is typically related to physical movement and touch. It can be generated by muscle spasms in the ear or neck, and by other mechanical sources. Although sound therapy can be used for somatic tinnitus, often times other management techniques, such as massage therapy can also be helpful.

Anything that causes the neck to twist, such as a pillow or turning the neck to look into a microscope, can be the source of somatic tinnitus.

Dental problems such as impacted wisdom teeth and popping of the jaw can also create this type of tinnitus.

Somatic tinnitus is also referred to as conductive tinnitus, meaning it is tinnitus caused by more outer functions, rather than sensory/neurological causes. Sometimes mechanical causes of tinnitus can be heard by others.

Portrait of a man with tinnitus.

Objective tinnitus

This is one of the rarest types of tinnitus. Objective tinnitus is the only type that can be heard by an outside observer, usually with a stethoscope. Objective tinnitus often moves in time with the heartbeat. 
Consultation for tinnitus | ReSound

Manage your tinnitus

Each case of tinnitus is unique, but you’re not alone. An estimated 15% of the population suffers from tinnitus. But there is hope - tinnitus management options can help to relieve the stress and anxiety that comes from tinnitus.
Tinnitus treatment
Couple hugging each other.

Enjoy relief from tinnitus

Whatever type of tinnitus you experience, the ReSound Relief app can help provide some relief.  Play soundscapes and audio exercises, and more.
ReSound Relief
Download on the App Store. Get it on Google Play.
ReSound hearing care professional interacting with a patient during an appointment.