Facts about Tinnitus

If you’ve ever experienced buzzing, hissing, clicking or ringing in your ears, you’re not alone. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly 15% of the general public experience some form of tinnitus. That’s over 50 million Americans!

What is Tinnitus

Tinnitus is defined as “the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present. Tinnitus can be both an acute (temporary) condition or a chronic (ongoing) health malady.” Many of us have likely experienced short bursts of tinnitus that normally resolve after a short time. Acute tinnitus can be triggered by exposure to loud noise or a variety of other causes. Tinnitus is considered chronic if symptoms have persisted for longer than three months. Chronic tinnitus is commonly associated with hearing loss.

Types of Tinnitus

Generally speaking, there are two types of tinnitus, subjective and objective.

  • Subjective Tinnitus - This is the most common form of tinnitus. It manifests with ear or head noises that only the individual can hear. More than 99% of reported tinnitus cases are subjective tinnitus.
  • Objective Tinnitus - This is a form of tinnitus where the ear or head noises can be heard by other people. This form of tinnitus is usually caused by internal functions in the body, such as blood flow. It’s very rare, accounting for only 1% of reported cases.

5 Facts about Tinnitus

  1. Tinnitus is very common. In fact, up to 50 million Americans have reportedly experienced some form of tinnitus.
  2. The sounds vary from one person to the next. Common sounds that people report hearing include: clicking, buzzing, whooshing, ringing or hissing.
  3. It can have a number of causes. The most common cause of tinnitus is hearing loss. Other causes could include: certain types of medication, high-blood pressure and, in some cases, lifestyle choices.
  4. Tinnitus is the number one disability for veterans. Prolonged exposure to excessive noise is believed to be a key contributing factor.
  5. There is currently no cure for tinnitus. However, depending on the type of tinnitus you have, treating the underlying condition can help relieve symptoms.

Interested in hearing common tinnitus sounds? Check out this list of samples put together by The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) here.

Trust Your Hearing to HearingLife (formerly Family Audiology)

As hearing loss is the most common cause of ongoing tinnitus, treating the hearing loss can help alleviate symptoms. Find out how the hearing healthcare experts at HearingLife (formerly Family Audiology) can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our hearing care professionals.

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