20 somethings’ Scottish tinnitus ‘epidemic’ speaks volumes

From: BeyondPR
Published: Mon May 17 2010

These concerns follow in the wake of latest statistics released by the Scottish Executive, showing that over the last twelve months, approximately 6,000 people under 55 consulted their GP reporting tinnitus symptoms. Worryingly, this is in much greater numbers and at a much younger age range than would be expected, prompting fears that this trend is just the tip of the iceberg and set to continue unless remedial action is taken.

Around one in five people between 55 and 65 years old report tinnitus symptoms, but as hearing naturally deteriorates past the age of 55, it is the figures showing much younger people consulting their GPs with tinnitus which is a real cause for concern. Some 2,798 people in the 25-44 age range consulted their GP, which is nearly as many as those reported consulting over 55.

"The Scottish statistics published are incredibly alarming and back up what we have been saying for some time," said Vivienne Michael, Chief Executive of Deafness Research UK. "Tinnitus is historically considered an older person’s condition, yet we see the staggering fact that in the research, that almost as many people under 55 years old sought treatment as those over the age of 55."

"We are doing what we can, but much more needs to be done," added Vivienne Michael. "Parents and teachers all have a part to play, as do role models from the music industry. So many famous people in the industry from Pete Townshend to the legendary Sir George Martin have all experienced deafness and tinnitus and hopefully, the young will take a tip from their idols and turn the volume down.

"The fact that significant numbers of Scots in their 20s and 30s are reporting tinnitus symptoms is likely to be directly linked to the misuse of MP3 players and other mobile music devices. If we do not do something about this now, we will have a tinnitus and hearing loss epidemic on our hands in a few years," warned Vivienne.

The World Health Organisation reports that some 4,000,000 people in the UK risk damage to their ears by exposure to loud music and their findings, suggesting that as many of 75% of under 55s are experiencing difficulty with their hearing and tinnitus in particular, is supported by these new figures. This growth in reported tinnitus is taking place amid a troubling lack of awareness among the young of the dangers of loud music. Initiatives such as the Bionic Ear Show developed by Deafness Research UK in association with BUPA has been looking to get the message across by taking the warnings about hearing loss directly into schools and colleges, in an attempt to ring in the changes and cut what is turning into a rising tide of tinnitus cases.

While supporting educational work on the dangers of loud music, the charity continues to fund cutting edge research, while offering support and advice to people suffering now. The charity has produced a free tip-sheet on how to avoid ear damage due to MP3 players and a free fact sheet ‘Managing Tinnitus’ is also available. Both of these publications, together with a wealth of additional free information and guidance is available from the charity’s freephone number on
0808 808 2222.

For further information on deafness and deafness-related conditions, call freephone 0808 808 2222 or visit Deafness Research UK’s website at www.deafnessresearch.org.uk

Press enquiries
Jon Gardner, BeyondPR. Mobile 07930 697773. Direct line 0114 275 6996. e-mail: jon.gardner@beyondpr.co.uk


Ref: DRUK0248 – Fears of tinnitus increasing among the young

Company: BeyondPR
Contact Name: BeyondPR
Contact Email: beyondpr@beyondpr.co.uk
Contact Phone: 0114 2756996

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