The Prevalence of Tinnitus in the United States

The MarketTrak VIII research report was published in November about the prevalence of tinnitus in the United States.  According to this report, the size of the tinnitus population in the US is now 30 million – about 10% of the entire population.  Sergei Kochkin, PhD, Richard Tyler, PhD, and Jennifer Born present data in this report that confirms that the provision of hearing aids offers substantial benefit to tinnitus sufferers.

The report cites a study conducted by the Better Hearing Institute, which revealed that 39% of people had not sought help for their hearing loss because they also had tinnitus and believed it could not be treated.  The MarkeTrak VIII report emphasizes the importance of hearing care professionals proving that they can provide effective treatments for tinnitus.  In a survey of 230 hearing care professionals, 60% of their patients reported some relief of their tinnitus when using hearing aids, and 20% actually reported major relief of their tinnitus when using hearing aids. In ReSound’s own clinical trials of the Live TS hearing aid, 83% of VA audiologists reported a significant or satisfactory improvement in tinnitus symptoms after activating the Tinnitus Sound Generator feature in the hearing aid.

Some interesting points from the report:

Prevalence of Tinnitus
•    Nearly 44% of subjects (12.95 million) with tinnitus report no hearing loss. It is generally agreed that most people with tinnitus have at least a mild hearing loss
•    The average age of people with tinnitus is 57
•    Tinnitus is shown to be highly related to age
•    People with tinnitus are more likely to have an education below high school; to be retired, disabled, or on medical leave; to have lower household incomes; to live in smaller rural communities; and to be single

Severity of Tinnitus
•    Nearly 4 in 10 (39.1%) people experience their tinnitus 80% or more of the day
•    The average person rated their tinnitus at 39% on the annoyance scale
•    The average person rated their tinnitus at 41% on our loudness scale
•    About 2 in 5 (39%) report that tinnitus affects their ability to hear, 1 in 4 (26%) their ability to concentrate, and 1 in 5 their ability to sleep
•    7% indicate that tinnitus affects their ability to work.

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