Chapter

Epidemiology and etiology

Jos J. Eggermont

in The Neuroscience of Tinnitus

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199605606
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741555 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605606.003.0002
Epidemiology and etiology

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The prevalence of tinnitus is high in children with normal hearing as well as in those with hearing loss or ear disease, and reaches levels in the 20–40% range. The prevalence of continuous tinnitus is much lower in young adults (~8%) but taking short-duration tinnitus into account it also reaches about 25%. The prevalence of continuous tinnitus increases with age to about 15% at 65–70 years. Occupational and recreational noise, smoking and hypertension increase the risk of acquiring tinnitus, whereas moderate alcohol consumption appears to lower that risk. Hearing loss that originates from noise exposure appears to be the single-most cause of tinnitus. Somatic insults or activity can both induce and modulate existing tinnitus. Tinnitus overall has no or very low heritability, whereas non-syndromic hearing loss that may result in tinnitus clearly does. Factors accompanying tinnitus such as depression also seem to have heritable aspects.

Keywords: noise-induced hearing loss; age-related hearing loss; tinnitus prevalence; genetics; life span; music-induced tinnitus; somatic tinnitus

Chapter.  9704 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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