Tinnitus symptoms can be low-pitched or high-pitched, the volume can vary, and patients can experience it in one or both ears. Usually, the quieter the environment, the louder tinnitus feels — which is why it may seem to vanish when music is playing or the television is on.
There are tiny hair cells in the inner ear that sense noise. When sound waves pass through the ear canal to the middle and inner ear, these cells transmit sound waves into neural signals, which travel into the brain and are understood as sound. These tiny cells can be damaged and lose their ability to process certain frequencies.