Tinnitus, the term used to describe continuous ringing in your ears, affects about 20% of the population. Typically Tinnitus is not a serious problem but it can impact your quality of life. In addition, it can lead to hearing loss down the road.
Although Tinnitus is more commonly found in folks over the age of 50, research now indicates that about 25% of youths may experience Tinnitus later in life. The root cause of youths being candidates for Tinnitus is exposure to loud noise at parties, listening to music with ear buds and heavy audio cell phone use. One recent study showed that already almost 1/3 of the youths are now showing evidence of developing chronic tinnitus as tested through psychoacoustic examinations in sound booths.
There is no cure for Tinnitus however there are therapies out there that can be helpful, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, nutritional interventions and white noise accessories for the ear.About three quarters of adults suffering from Tinnitus may suffer from psychiatric disorders ranging from anxiety to personality disorders. In addition there is a close link between stress and Tinnitus. It is also noted that Tinnitus is also associated with pain disorders, headaches and chronic fatigue.
So, if you have kids from 10 or 11 through their early 20’s, you may want to have a chat with them now, sort of like the don’t smoke chat, but even worse when you show them by demonstrating a hissing sound directly into their ear and ask them “how would they like to hear this hissing sound 24/7 maybe starting in your late 20’s in some cases, but for the rest of your life on this earth!”
I write this blog knowing how rough it is to have Tinnitus, as my wife developed it about 5 years ago. We were fortunate enough to go to the House Institute, where my sister-in-law’s, law firm were instrumental in the legal area of setting up the House Institute in Los Angeles. Because of her sister, we had no problem getting in and seeing Dr. House personally. Dr. House is the world’s most noted authority on Tinnitus. We thought, certainly seeing the top professional in the world on Tinnitus, he would have a solution for us. There is no cure. You just learn to live with it!