Tinnitus is a ringing in the ears or other sounds that are not sourced from the outside. It is a common symptom of various underlying causes. It typically only lasts for a short period of time for most people, but for a handful of people, it can be a chronic and serious problem. Although both short term and chronic tinnitus can be bothersome and stressful, there are options that help reduce tinnitus and possibly cure it. Getting a precise diagnosis for the underlying cause of your tinnitus is the first step in determining the proper treatment options.