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Tinnitus Experienced By 10% Of Americans, Experts Say

A study has just revealed that one out of 10 Americans suffers from tinnitus, a condition that results in ringing in the ears. Medical specialists say that this is most often caused by exposure to high decibel noises, namely music and gunfire. About 36% of people suffer from ongoing tinnitus, the study revealed.

Tinnitus is a condition in the ears that results in persistent buzzing or ringing sounds when there is no actual noise being caused. The noise can vary slightly between sufferers. For those who suffer from ongoing tinnitus, it can detract from mental focus and concentration, and can even leave them sleep deprived.

Doctors leading the study advised that many times the underlying cause of tinnitus can be traced back to occupational hazards, home exposure or lifestyle choices, such as attending loud concerts or frequently visiting the shooting range. Most concerning is noise exposure at home, which doctors say is the most preventable cause of tinnitus.

The study advises that by adding audiological evaluations to a physical exam every few years, doctors can better identify patients with tinnitus, so they can seek an adequate treatment regimen.

More than 76,000 adult men and women took part in the study, which culled data, in part, from the National Health Interview Survey. Using this data, researchers were able to ascertain that approximately 10% of the U.S. population suffers from this hearing disorder. They also found that 27% of sufferers had ongoing symptoms spanning more than 15 years, while 36% suffered from chronic and persistent symptoms. Just 15% suffered from daily symptoms, with the remainder experiencing symptoms less than once per week. Roughly 7% of those included in the study stated that this hearing disorder was a “big problem” in their life. About 42% said it was a “small problem.” Nearly half the participants had consulted with their primary care physician or a specialist to resolve symptoms.

Of the treatment options, doctors advise hear aids, masking devices and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Aside from conventional options, experts say that newer smartphone applications have proven to be veritable. These create white noise and other sounds that you listen to with headphones, and have been shown to greatly aid sufferers.

Researchers have published the report in JAMA.

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13 comments

  1. my problem with the high pitch noise ( I choose to call the noise Cicada’s noise) now in addition to the Cicada noise now i hear a pulsating noise keeping up with my heart beat anyone else has this problem ?

    • You might want to look into a condition called superior semicircular canal dehiscence with an ENT doctor who is familiar with it. Check it out online, see if it fits your symptoms. There are many symptoms, one which is hearing your own heart beating, I had that along with hearing my own voice in my head when I talked, called autophany. Surgery had helped. The best to you!

    • Yes I have the heartbeat in my head all of the time
      I can’t sleep well so I wind up keeping the TV on when I’M
      Home. I thought it was my Air Confitioner in the attic
      But it followed me to Orlando. Then I knew it was me
      I have asked several Drs and they don’t see to have a clue.

  2. I am not a Vet, I have not been to a concert in over 20 years. No loud music, no noise. I noticed it after a car accident just about 3 years ago. I have been suffering ever since. I have not been able to sleep or concentrate on my classes. I can’t stay focus on much of anything. I can’t sleep with anything playing it has to be quiet… HELP

  3. I have had Tinnitus for nearly 40 years. Through the years the sound has gotten progressively worse. I believe mine was definitely caused by years of stress. I have it 24/7. After all kinds of tests, still no relief. Because of always enduring the horrible high pitched sound of my Tinnitus, I began having anxiety attacks. Thankfully my doctor felt if the anxiety was controlled, the Tinnitus would more easily be ignored. He prescribed Cymbalta for me and he was right. Now I am free of anxiety, and hardly pay attention to the Tinnitus. I have wondered if I got rid of the continuous stress, if it would improve even more. Along with their Tinnitus some people have Meniere’s disease. Meniere’s is bouts of extreme dizziness, vertigo and nausea. Still others have hyperacusus with their Tinnitus, which is an oversensitivity to sounds. This can be very severe. ATA, (American Tinnitus Association) has been doing research for the 40 years that I can remember and still no actual cure.

    • There is a tendency to seek logical answers, when none are available, or known. You may have noticed abovementioned conditions labelled diseases, which are almost certainly of human origin accidental or biproducts of such, which are human malfunctions but which by redefinition qualify for government money. I am of the opinion that sometimes asking questions motivated by funding possibilities isn’t the best way to search for truth.

  4. Well I have had ringing in my ears since I was a kid. Finally got to the point when I was older it started making me dizzy to the point I can’t walk. I vomit and feel deathly sick. It got worse when I was only in my 30’s, so to the fella with the answer that we are old and comparing us to cars, etc, if you haven’t experienced what I have, please take it from me, it’s not at all to be taken lightly. It’s a desease and it’s debilitating at best, sometimes. I have hearing loss in both ears, but one is worse. I haven’t found anything that helps. My Dr says that salt can be part of the culprit. I really don’t know. I pray one day that there is a cute to this. I would feel like a new person if it was gone.

  5. In recent years, I found I have had it too. but I have solved it for me. I was taking a lot of aspirin and it was prescribed by my doctor followed by taking something for my stomach. When the doctors cleared up the two things that were causing me debilitating pain, I stopped taking the aspirin, it went away. Large doses of aspirin was what caused myringing.

  6. I agree it is a Disabling condition. I have been through numerous hearing/ tinnitus Tests. In 2005 is when my age to be done and still to this day complicates my life. Well I do not feel good it seems to be worse . If I keep myself busy it’s not as prominent. My aunt had it but she was lucky and it went away. I wish mine would leave. Good luck😊

  7. I have it all the time. I will sometimes just cry over it. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t remember ever being exposed to loud noises but I know if I am stressed it gets worse. It is just killing me. I can not focus on anything and there is just no peace in my head.

  8. I have it all the time. I will sometimes just cry over it. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t remember ever being exposed to loud noises but I know if I am stressed it gets worse. It is just killing me. I can not focus on anything and there is just no peace in my head.

  9. I ALSO HAVE IT SINCE I WAS IN THE ARMY.I WENT TO THE TARGET RANGE AND LOST MY HEARING FOR ABOUT 5 MINS AND HAD THE CRICKETS SINCE.I HAVE TRIED TO GET A DISABILTY FOR IT SINCE TO NO LUCK SO FAR.

  10. Bobbie Sue Sanders

    It is horrible. It sounds like I am hearing about 5 generators around me like this bbba. Bbba. Bbba. Bbba. Bbba. Sometimes sounds like 5 lawnmowers. Sometimes sounds like I am standing beside the helicopter. Never stops. One time I had inflamed in my hip so doctor gave me steriod shot. Next day to my surprise the sounds were gone so quiet and finally peacefull. It last about three weeks. The sounds came back. Three months later I got another steriod shot for my back. But the sounds didn’t go away like the first time. I wish there is something to stop those pet peeve sounds.

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