NOT Your Father’s Tinnitus
Nondahl, Cruickshanks, Huang, and colleagues (2012) compared multi-generational data to evaluate whether the prevalence of tinnitus at a particular age is lower today, than it was generations ago. Their data was gathered from various sources including thousands of subjects from the Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study (1993-1995, 1998-2000, 2003-2005, and 2009-2010) and the Beaver Dam Offspring Study (2005-2008). The authors determined that tinnitus prevalence has increased in younger generations.
Specifically, for people born between 1935 and 1939, when they were between the ages of 55 to 59 years, only 7.6 percent of them reported tinnitus. However, for people born between 1950 and 1954, also measured at ages 55 to 59 years, 17.5 percent reported tinnitus. Likewise, for people born between 1925 and 1929, as reported between the ages of 65 to 69 years, 7.9 percent reported tinnitus. However, for people born between 1940 and 1944, during the same age range (ages 65 to 69 years), 13.7 percent reported tinnitus.
The authors conclude that recent birth cohorts are more likely to report tinnitus than previous generations, even after correcting for gender, hearing ability, head trauma/injury, otologic history and other factors. Increased numbers of people reporting tinnitus may be due to increased prevalence, increased awareness of symptoms, or – perhaps higher health expectations among the youngest generation (or a combination of the three).
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Aazh H, Moore BCJ, and Roberts P. (2009) Patient-Centered Tinnitus Management Tool: A Clinical Audit. American Journal of Audiology (18):7-13
An YH, Lee LH, Yoon SW, Jin SY, Shim HJ. (2012) Does Tinnitus Affect the Sound Localization Ability? Otology & Neurotology 33:692-698.
Baigi A, Oden A, Almlid-Larsen V, Barrenas ML, Holgers, KM. (2011) Tinnitus in the General Population With a Focus on Noise and Stress—A Public Health Study. Ear & Hearing 32(6):787–789.
Bauer CA, Brozoski TJ. (2008) Tinnitus Assessment and Treatment: Integrating Clinical Experience with the Basic Science of Tinnitus. Seminars in Hearing, Tinnitus Part Two 29(4).
Beck DL. (2011) Hearing Aid Amplification and Tinnitus:2011. Hearing Journal 64(6):12-14.
Folmer, RL. (2012) Implants Can Improve Tinnitus but Most Offer No Quick Fixes. Hearing Journal 65(3).
Henry JA, Zaugg TL, Myers PJ, Kendall CJ. (2012) Progressive Tinnitus Management, NCRAR, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. Reviewed/Updated Date: March 30
Jacobson G. (2012) Tinnitus Relief- At What Cost? Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 23(2):80.
Kochkin S, Tyler R, Born J. (2011) MarkeTrak VIII: The Prevalence of Tinnitus in the United States and the Self-Reported Efficacy of Various Treatments. Hearing Review 18(12):10–26.
Newman CW, Sandridge SA. (2012) A Comparison of Benefit and Economic Value Between Two Sound Therapy Tinnitus Management Options. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 23:126–138.
Nondahl DM, Cruickshanks KJ, Huang GH, Klein BEK, Klein R, Tweed TS, Zhan W. (2012) Generational Differences in the Reporting of Tinnitus. Ear & Hearing 33(5)5:640-644.
Parazzini M, Del Bo L, Jastreboff M, Tognola G, Ravazzani P. (2011) Open Ear Hearing Aids In Tinnitus Therapy - An Efficacy Comparison with Sound Generators. International Journal of Audiology 50:548-553.
Piskosz M. (2012) The Role of Wireless Streaming in Tinnitus Management. Hearing Review March:12–15.
Salvi R, Langguth B, Kraus S, Ladngrebe M, Allman B, Ding D, Lobarinas E. (2011) Tinnitus and Hearing Loss and Changes in Hippocampus. Seminars In Hearing 32(2):203-211.
Sanchez TG, Akemi MA. (2008) Modulating Tinnitus with Visual, Muscular and Tactile Stimulation. Seminars in Hearing, Tinnitus Part Two 29(4).
Stouffer LJ, Tyler RS. (1990) Characterization of Tinnitus by Tinnitus Patients. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders 55:439-453.
Tyler RS, (2012) Patient Preferences and Willingness to Pay for Tinnitus Treatment. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 23:115–125.
Tyler RS, Haskell GB, Gogel SA, Gehringer AK.(2008) Establishing a Tinnitus Clinic in Your Practice. American Journal of Audiology 17(1):25–37.