Young woman is covering her ears due to her tinnitus symptoms.

More and more adults seem to be experiencing tinnitus symptoms.

Loud noises and environments seem to be doing more damage than expected to people’s hearing. While the lifestyle of teenagers has led to a them experiencing tinnitus symptoms, the same appears to be true for adults. According to a recent study by the University of California, approximately 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. have tinnitus.

Research into Tinnitus Symptoms

Tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying condition. People with tinnitus will often hear noises when there are none. These noises present themselves as a ringing, clicking, hissing or roaring.

The most common causes include ear infections, heart disease, brain tumor, emotional stress, and head injuries. However, tinnitus itself can lead to functional impairments in thought processing, emotions, hearing, sleep and concentration.

Researchers at the University of California examined a 2007 National Health Interview Survey. Their initial findings revealed that an estimated 3.4 million U.S. adults experienced tinnitus in the past 12 months.

Among those, 27 percent have suffered from symptoms over the past 15 years, while another 36 percent constantly deals with symptoms. Only 7.2 percent felt tinnitus was a big problem. This is a stark difference from the 42 percent who believe the condition didn’t affect their lives.

Researchers believe that work-related noise is the main cause of these symptoms. The problem is that many people do not report experiencing tinnitus to their physician. The CDC estimates that four million people work each day in damaging noise. Even worse, ten million people in the U.S. have hearing loss related to noise.

More studies need to be performed to get a better idea of how tinnitus affects people, as well as how to treat their tinnitus symptoms.  The authors of the study say that “The recent guidelines published by the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO­HNSF) provide a logical framework for clinicians treating these patients, but the current results indicate that most patients may not be offered management recommendations consistent with the suggested protocol.”