How many people have tinnitus?
Don’t feel like you’re alone. Tinnitus is very common. About 20% of us have it to some extent.
About 90 percent of cases occur with an underlying hearing loss. The World Health Organisation (WHO) now lists tinnitus as a distinct disorder and states that noise exposure is a major cause of permanent hearing loss around the world.
Recent research confirms that it is the second most common form of hearing loss after age-related hearing loss. Prevalence increases with age but experiences of it are very common in all age groups, especially following exposure to loud noise.
About half of those who live with the condition find it moderately or severly distressing. You may suffer debilitating symptoms such as anxity, depression or sleep disturbances. It can be confusing and even frightening when it occurs for the first time, but it is rarely a symptom of a serios disorder.If it lasts for longer than a week, or it is affecting your concentration, sleep or anxiety levels, book an appointment with your GP or with your local National Hearing Care Audiologist or Audiometrist.
In some cases, the problem can be managed with relaxation exercises. There are also specialist hearing solutions available that can provide soothing tones to distract you from the noise.
What Causes Tinnitus?
It's not an illness or disease in itself, it is often a symptom of a problem with the ear or the hearing pathways to the brain. Usually, it occurs when the inner ear is damaged or impaired in some way.
Tinnitus can be caused by:
- Exposure to excessive loud noise
- Extreme stress or trauma
- Hearing loss
- Some prescription, and non-prescription medication
These are just a few of the common causes, but it can also be a side-effect of medication or a result of other health concerns, such as high blood pressure. It is also commonly associated with age-related hearing loss, although it can affect anyone at any age.
Hearing Aids & Tinnitus
Hearing aids can help your tinnitus as they assist in overcoming any underlying hearing loss. By reducing the amount of attention your brain is paying to the tinnitus, in most cases hearing aids can give you some relief.