Who is at Risk for Tinnitus?
One of the most common hearing conditions is tinnitus. It can affect any person at any age and from any background, but around 30 percent of people will experience tinnitus at one time or another in their lives and for various reasons. Persistent tinnitus is a lot less common, though, and only 10 percent of people will live with it as a permanent condition. Around one in 10 people with tinnitus will find their quality of life severely affected.
While more common in those with hearing loss, tinnitus can be diagnosed with a series of tests from your audiologist. Audiologists will provide you with hearing tests that can determine the severity and the type of tinnitus that you are experiencing. Tinnitus may also be a side effect of some illnesses and even of some medications. There are a number of occupations and lifestyle choices out there that give you a heightened risk of developing this condition, and below, you can find a few groups of people who are more likely to be at risk of tinnitus.
Music lovers and musicians
Whether you are on the stage or screaming as a spectator in the crowd, spending extended periods of time around a lot of loud music can really affect your hearing, as well as cause tinnitus. The slow damage to your hearing can leave you at risk of a constant tone in the background of your daily life. If you work in the music industry, learn the beauty of earplugs!
People working with loud machinery
Working with constantly chugging and whirring machinery at a high volume can be dangerous for your ears. You can easily get used to working with a lot of loud noise, but the damage may be slow enough to not affect you until much later in life. Always wear ear protection if you are working with heavy machinery and always ensure that you take regular breaks from it.
Those exposed to loud bangs
This particular point is aimed at those in military jobs, where loud bangs are a part of life. If you are in a position where you are exposed to a lot of loud banging, it’s worth ensuring that you have regular hearing tests with a reputable audiologist. Ear protection is essential and if you work with fireworks regularly, even more so.
Those who wear headphones
You’ve spent time loving your loud music on the commute to work and you don’t want to upset or bother anyone, so you use the latest earbuds. The problem here is that these are sitting right next to your inner ear and the booming music is going to damage those little ear hairs that help noise to travel. Always keep music at 60 percent of the volume and never for longer than an hour at a time.
While every group of people is at risk of tinnitus, those listed above are in the highest risk categories. Paying attention to your hearing and your environment is so important; don’t miss those audiologist appointments!