Tinnitus Epidemic

Discussion in 'Support' started by Joell, Feb 2, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Joell

      Joell Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Question:

      Is there a tinnitus epidemic in the world today? i.e. Is there more people with tinnitus today comparing to the 70s and onwards ? Is tinnitus becoming more and more common ?

      Does anybody have any facts or data about this ?
       
    2. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      My guess is that this would be hard to factually determine. Doctors don't really report tinnitus cases; they can't treat it and its not contagious. People often don't even self-report tinnitus; it doesn't bother them or they think they just have to live with it.

      I do think that we live in a noisier world today, and noise exposure is a major factor in tinnitus. But so is being in the military -- and 1.9 BILLION people worldwide served in some capacity during World War II. Many of them probably had extreme noise exposure, and this was before ear protection was common. And this doesn't include the PTSD factor, which some think also plays into tinnitus. Not hard to imagine this all generating a huge number of T cases, seen today in the U.S. by the huge number of disability complaints filed with Veterans Affairs.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. kmohoruk
      Nerdy

      kmohoruk Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise, Ear Infection, TMJ
      Theres some research that has come out recently showing that more of the younger generation (including me) are having more hearing loss and tinnitus. A lot of it is due to the noisier world that we live in, but mostly because of jacked up music through iPods, in hear head phones, concerts, clubs etc...

      I am always amazed when I'm on the bus and I can clearly hear peoples music through my own over ear headphones. I honestly think that tinnitus, hearing loss and hyperacusis will be one of the big epidemics of my generation.

      So if there is any sort of silver lining to this, hopefully it will get the word out and help with research into many of these still mysterious ear/neurological conditions.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    4. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Not to get prissy... I just get a little nervous when I see the term "epidemic" being used... it's a scary word...

      Epidemics involve disease, like HIV/AIDS. Tinnitus is not a disease. It is a medical disorder of the auditory/neurological system. And tinnitus isn't contagious. If there are more people with it, its because of factors such as patient behaviors that some of you described, such as increased use of ear buds.
       
    5. kmohoruk
      Nerdy

      kmohoruk Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise, Ear Infection, TMJ

      I see your point. However I do believe that it will become a large problem for my generation - as there's already signs of it.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    6. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      The more who has it, the bigger the business, the more the research.
      So maybe they will find a cure some day.
      I told my kids to not listen to music too loud. They should be very careful with their hearing.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    7. Joell

      Joell Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Loud music is nothing new actually. There was a lot of rock music on high levels in the 70s (i was not born then but, ive done some research). The walkman was invented 1984 so the mp3players are not anything new.

      If tinnitus is increasing among the population of the world, the reason must be something else. And i would really like to know what it is
       
    8. OddV
      Assassinator

      OddV Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      The difference is that you didn't have your Walkman turned on all the time. They were bulky as well as the earphones being bulky. They didn't have ear buds, but earphones with foam covers that sat on your ears, not in them.

      Yes, they were cool, but also were somewhat of a luxury. I had one, but didn't listen to it constantly because you were limited by how much music you could bring (cassette tapes take up space).

      I think you are comparing apples and oranges.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    9. Mo_Mo

      Mo_Mo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      25/11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, Started A Week After A Cold
      Also I would get there were less ototoxic ingredients in food, more organic foods.
       
    10. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      We've changed the environment in dramatic and entirely novel ways over the last 50 years as a result of massive leaps forward in organic chemistry and chemical synthesis in general. We're also routinely subjected to more noise, stronger electromagnetic fields, etc.

      I think it would be obtuse to assume that none of that is changing us or that it's not possible it might be connected to tinnitus or other health problems in some cases, but it's almost impossible to say so with certainty...
       
    11. OddV
      Assassinator

      OddV Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      I agree with that...
       
    12. Joell

      Joell Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Yeah thats my thought also.

      Its impossible to know but we all want to know.
       
    13. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      If we could apply big data techniques to medical problems, we'd learn a ton of interesting things.
      "Is tinnitus worse in louder cities?"
      "Are people who live within X miles of oil refineries more likely to get cancer / parkinson's / whatever?"
      "Do people with a history of anxiety develop tinnitus at a higher rate?"

      etc. If we could get everyone's data into a single database, we could learn all kinds of fascinating things. Two big problems:
      * data security. Medical information is considered by most people to be way more private than almost any thing. Even if you are trying to convince people to share some data in a safe and quasi-anonymous way, and even if you're doing so with very altruistic reasons about wanting to cure diseases, most people are going to be very skeptical.
      * what you might find. This is me being cynical, but, if you really had all this health info at your fingertips, you would be able to very quickly and very convincingly demonstrate that various industries and even specific chemicals have very specific and dangerous consequences for people / communities. Many people would not like this because it would be bad for their bottom line. We all know that, for instance, coal plants are terrible for the world, but the easier it is to tie that to concrete facts like "if you live within X miles of a coal plant, you're going to die Y years earlier", the more likely people are to loose their shit over it.
       
    14. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      I saw all the classic rock groups in the 70's - Aerosmith, Rush, Kiss, Humble Pie, Queen etc .....
      I've been to a few rock concerts in the 80's and 90's. They've become MUCH louder. Painfully crazy loud.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    15. Joell

      Joell Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      linearb:
      It would be possible to store medical data in an anonymous way. BUT there are many signs that the medical industry dont really want peoples diseases to be cured. By economical reasons or poilitical. Thats why im very sceptical about waiting for the tinnitus cure. If you ask any higher doctor / scientist, you will here that they do not really advance in curing diseases. Curing symptoms or prolonging life a bit, yes.. But not many real cures.

      I who love music:
      you were actually there! good info! thanks..
       
    16. Champ
      Woot

      Champ Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Boston, MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma from headphones
      There are people who want to discover how these health issues arise, and how to manage/cure/treat them. Lasik is for all intents and purposes a "final solution" for correcting someone's vision. That is a cure right there.

      Surely, there will be some drug/therapy that can be used for tinnitus someday. There's lot of universities and companies looking into it as we speak.
       
    17. David J
      Confused

      David J Member

      Location:
      Kent, Ohio
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      While it is true that loud music was around in the 70's (I was young then), it is nothing like it is today. Not sure when the big bass speakers and sub woofers started showing-up (it wasn't the 70's or 80's). You know, the ones you hear in cars that rattle the windows in my house when they pass by. Probably the worst noise was a Bruce Springsteen concert where I sat very close to the stage. Concerts have been around forever, but I don't remember music being played as loud back then as it is today. I think that technology has changed the way we hear music and has contributed to an increase in volume in the most recent decade.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    18. Mike82
      Wishful

      Mike82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      I'm 33. I started listening to my Walkman at about age 13. I listened to a combination of Walkmans/Discmans throughout my teen years, often at fairly high volumes, always when on public transport and sometimes at home in bed.

      I started seeing bands regularly from about the age of 18 onward. My perception of what I call 'shows' is that they have always been incredibly loud. Since I never had anything to compare it to, I simply thought it was normal to go to a venue and have 100dB+ of sound blasting out from stacked amps for hours on end.

      I got my first mp3 player - one of those clunky old iRivers - when I was in my mid-20s. I used it a bit, but not as much as my Walkman when I was a kid. I still went to a fair few shows but again, probably not as often as I first did. I never wore hearing protection at them as I was unaware I was doing any damage to my ears.

      I now have the equivalent of a musician's hearing loss... without ever having played a note of music in my life.

      The truth is that I've probably also had tinnitus since I was about 25. I certainly remember lying in bed one day in Japan (where I lived for a while) and thinking, "I wonder if this buzzing noise has always been present?" I never went to a doctor or saw anyone about it, because it didn't unduly bother me at the time.

      What I think make's Joell's original question so interesting is the fact that tinnitus now bothers me. It bothers me so much that I'm undergoing TRT, have gone to great lengths to see audiologists, have trialled hearing aids and have even started on anti-depression medication.

      The reason I think this is a really important distinction to make is because I suspect that I have been doing cumulative damage to my ears for decades without ever realising it. And it's the collective cumulative damage that I believe is going to be a problem in future.

      Whether we label it an 'epidemic' or not, the answer to the original question - in my personal opinion - is 'yes'... there probably is a greater prevalence of tinnitus today than there was in the past. And I think, given society's use of personal music players and the extremely loud volume of concerts, it will continue to be a growing problem.
       

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