1 in 10 Americans experience tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

By: Mohan Garikiparithi | Health News | Saturday, July 23, 2016 - 10:00 AM

tinnitus ringing in the earsA new study has found that one in 10 Americans experience ringing in the ears – tinnitus. The cause of this ear ringing could be a result of prolonged exposure to loud noises.

Thirty-six percent reported experiencing tinnitus on a constant basis.

Tinnitus is a condition in which a person hears sounds (ringing) even though there isn’t any. It may sound like buzzing, ringing, or humming. The noise can be so bothersome it could interfere with thinking, speaking, and even sleep.

Lead researcher Dr. Harrison Lin said, “Durations of occupational and leisure-time noise exposures correlated with rates of tinnitus and, accordingly, there are likely correctable risk factors that can be addressed in the workplace and at home.”

Not only is tinnitus recommendations rarely followed, but there is considerable room for improvement when it comes to tinnitus treatment, according to Dr. Lin. He added, “Noise exposures at work and at home seem to correlate with the prevalence of chronic tinnitus and, accordingly, these noise exposures should be addressed and minimized. [Doctors should treat patients by] recommending audiological evaluations, sound and hearing aid therapies, and psychological interventions.”

There is currently no cure for tinnitus and, unfortunately, there is no proven way to reduce the ringing. So far the only recommended solutions for tinnitus are the use of hearing aids or cognitive behavioral therapy, which can help you find ways to adjust to and live with the condition.

Sound therapy may also be a means of helping with tinnitus. James Henry, a research career scientist at the U.S. National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research at the VA Medical Center, explained, “A smartphone is an excellent way to provide sound therapy. You can access all different sounds on the internet, you can download music — anything you want to listen to through your earphones. That’s a very inexpensive way of providing sound therapy.”

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