Loud noise exposure can also cause tinnitus, in which people experience sounds yet there is no external sound present. Often described as ringing in the ears, tinnitus can also be experienced as buzzing or roaring sounds, and it is estimated that around 10% of the population experience troublesome symptoms permanently.
Tinnitus can occur constantly or intermittently throughout a person’s life. It can be triggered or made worse by emotional events such as depression or anxiety, accident and injury (not necessarily of the ear), even moving suddenly to a much quieter environment can trigger tinnitus. For sufferers, tinnitus can have a significant impact on lifestyle and well being.
Tinnitus can be an early indicator of hearing damage and our research shows that tinnitus is becoming more common in younger people exposed to loud sound, particularly musicians, who are almost four times more likely to experience it than the rest of the population.
If you do suffer from tinnitus, there are various organisations that offer information and assistance to help you manage your tinnitus:
- Australian Hearing: have some good tinnitus information covering: what it is and how to treat it, it also features on their Hearing Help website
- Australian Tinnitus Association (NSW): provides information, support and counseling to tinnitus sufferers
- Tinnitus Association of Victoria: a voluntary, non-profit organization that has been helping people with tinnitus for over 20 years.
– if you don’t have it, you can reduce your risk by being HEARsmart!