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Too young to get tinnitus?

"by " Albert Stein

When you think someone who has hearing loss, many of us are likely to picture an older person.

While it's true that many seniors experience age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis in their later years, hearing impairments can also affect people at any stage of their lives.

One such hearing condition is tinnitus. Characterised by an internal ringing in one or both ears, varying from person to person in intensity and frequency. According to the Victoria government's Better Health Channel, tinnitus is believed to affect up to 20 per cent of Australians*, and can be caused by numerous contributing factors. 

Excessive noise exposure at dangerous volumes is thought to be the reason why the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates 1.1 billion young people worldwide to be at risk of hearing loss.

The WHO explains that overexposure to loud environments such as concerts and night clubs can result in irreversible damage to the delicate sensory cells in our ears, potentially leading to tinnitus. 

Perhaps due to the preconception that hearing conditions predominantly affect the older generation, younger people with tinnitus don't always report their symptoms, notes the British Tinnitus Association (BTA)*.  

"The single most helpful thing for a child or young person with troublesome tinnitus therefore is to talk with someone who is interested, willing to listen, takes them seriously and thinks with them about strategies for coping with it," states the BTA.

The BTA advises that any suspected cases of tinnitus should be checked by a medical professional to ensure that there are no other underlying health conditions, as well as to create a strategy to manage tinnitus*. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing ringing in the ears, click here or call 1800 340 631 to request a hearing check-up with your local Audika clinic.

*Better Health Channel, Tinnitus. Accessed August 12, 2015. Available here.

*WHO, 1.1 billion people at risk of hearing loss. Accessed August 12, 2015. Available here.

*British Tinnitus Association, Helping young people with tinnitus. Accessed August 12, 2015. Available here.