Tinnitus is a condition of the inner ear that is often associated with hearing loss. However, Tinnitus/ hearing loss are not actually the same thing. In fact, Tinnitus is a symptom that can be brought on by a number of different conditions or injuries, many of which are totally unrelated to hearing loss.
Tinnitus is caused by damage to the nerve cells found in the cochlea, often referred to as the inner ear. If you think of the nerve as a telephone wire you can begin to see the problem. If a telephone wire is frayed, the signals passing through the wire are interrupted and the signal becomes distorted. This same thing happens in tinnitus. These damaged nerve cells cause a distortion that the brain interprets as a kind of sound. Usually is a ringing noise, but often it can be what many people describe as a buzz or hum.