Tinnitus is not a disease itself; it is a symptom that something is wrong in the auditory system, including the ear, the auditory nerve, and the areas of the brain that process sound.
Hearing loss occurs with roughly 90 percent of tinnitus cases.
Noise-induced hearing loss and age-related hearing loss are some more
common causes of tinnitus.
About one in five U.S. adults (nearly 50 million people) report some degree
of hearing loss.
Tinnitus is sometimes the first sign of hearing loss.
Tinnitus is prevalent: 25 million to 50 million people in the United States
experience it to some degree.
In the past year, about 22.7 million adults in the U.S. experienced tinnitus for
more than three months, or about 10 percent of the adult population of the
Approximately 16 million people seek medical attention for their tinnitus,
and for up to two million patients, debilitating tinnitus interferes with their
More than 200 drugs are known to cause tinnitus as a side effect when you
start or stop taking them.
Among U.S. adults ages 65 and older, more than 12 percent of men and
almost 14 percent of women are affected by tinnitus.
Tinnitus and hearing loss are the top service-related disabilities among
veterans; 60 percent of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan return
home with hearing loss.
Sources: The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders,
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Tinnitus