Tinnitus is a condition in which you might hear a ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling, or chirping noise. Tinnitus is often called “ringing in the ears,” although the sound does not have to be ringing. Many people hear tones, and some have what’s called “pulsatile tinnitus,” which is when the sounds ebb and flow along with the person’s heartbeat. Tinnitus is fairly widespread, with about 30 to 50 million people in the United States alone suffering from the condition. Understanding tinnitus causes can help you to reduce your risk and seek early intervention.