News ID: 155556
Published: 0318 GMT July 24, 2016

One in 10 Americans has buzzing in ear or tinnitus

One in 10 Americans has buzzing in ear or tinnitus

Do you have that sometimes irritating ringing in your ears? One in every 10 Americans has persistent buzzing or ringing in the ears, or sometimes in the head. It’s called tinnitus. Surprisingly, scientists have been studying it, and the goals are to find out its prevalence in the country, and how to avoid it.

As published by National Public Radio (NPR), the research was written for the journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Ear surgeon Harrison Lin of the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, and one of the three authors of the study, has spoken with the online publication, and he revealed that tinnitus is connected with hearing loss, reported

When someone loses the ability to hear a certain range of sound, their brain might chime in with its own iteration. It is similar to a soldier who can still feel pain in the limb that they’ve lost. Interestingly, the study also has found that people with tinnitus rarely talk about it with their doctors.

The team looked at the national survey of more than 75,000 people, and they found that about 27 percent confirmed experiencing its symptoms for more than 15 years. Meanwhile, over a third — or about 36 percent — said they were experiencing symptoms nearly constant.

In a press release for the study, the study team revealed that higher rates of tinnitus were reported in those with consistent exposure to loud noises, either at work or during recreational time. In addition, they’ve also found a link between it and the years of exposure to deafening work.

For the subjective severity, the team has found that seven point two percent reported their tinnitus as a big or a very big problem, while 42 percent said it is a small problem.

Only 45 percent had discussed their tinnitus with their doctors.

For treatments, Lin said that hearing aids work, also psychotherapy. The latter is being promoted by their national professional society, he said, because it’s about changing the way affected people think about tinnitus.

The study is titled 'Prevalence, Severity, Exposures, and Treatment Patterns of Tinnitus in the United States,' and it’s an online-first publication accessible via the JAMA website

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