eli5: Why is there sometimes a random ringing noise?


I know it pretty common, so when it is silent or very quiet, there will just be a random ringing out of nowhere. Why?

In: Biology

It’s called tinnitus and is caused by being exposed to loud noises or head injuries, most commonly. But here: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/symptoms-causes/syc-20350156
Mayo clinic does a good, in-depth job at explaining better.

Hi, I have this too, don’t know if it’s this tinnitus people are talking but I get it in silent environment, such as I laid in bed to sleep, it’s a static volume high pitch continuous noise that continues for a random amount of time

I have this too, perhaps most people of our generation really have tinnitus in some form or the other. It seems focussing on it makes it more appearant, so I really think attention is a key factor in how we experience it. I always wonder where the fluctuations come from in the ringing. As it’s like white noise, I often imagine cosmic background radiation having part in it just like it has on white noise on the radio or old TV’s with antennas.

We might be listening to the universe in our heads. Or it might just be our internal bodily processes. The first one sounds more impressive though.