A group of US scientists think they may just have a breakthrough treatment for the condition, which can cause stress, sleep difficulties, anxiety and hearing loss, and is often linked with Meniere's disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and depression. It also has no cure.
It's not always known how tinnitus develops, but in their study - which was published in the journal PLOS Biology - the scientists suggest it could be caused by a molecule called TNF-A (tumour necrosis factor alpha), which disrupts communication between neurons.
The scientists managed to stop the condition in mice (that had developed tinnitus after being exposed to loud noise for two hours) by blocking a protein that fuels brain inflammation.
Bao added: "These results implicate neuro-inflammation as a therapeutic target for treating tinnitus and other hearing loss related disorders."
However, Bao also pointed out that although the therapy was successful in the animals, potential adverse affects need to be thoroughly investigated before any human trials take place.