Tinnitus, or chronic ringing in your ears, affects about 1 in 5 people. While it's typically not serious, it can significantly impact your quality of life, and it may get worse with age or be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.1
In the majority of cases, tinnitus is diagnosed after the age of 50 years, however, recent research has shown that tinnitus in youth is surprisingly common and on the rise, likely due to increased exposure to loud music and other environmental noise
Worse still, it may be a sign of permanent nerve damage that could predict future hearing impairment.
One-Quarter of Youth May Experience Tinnitus, Risk Hearing Loss Later in Life
In a study of 170 students between the ages of 11 and 17 years, researchers from McMaster University in Canada found "risky listening habits," including exposure to loud noise at parties or concerts, listening to music with ear buds and use of mobile phones
excluding texting, were the norm.
More than half of the study participants reported experiencing tinnitus in the past, such as experiencing ringing in the ears for a day following a loud concert.
This is considered a warning sign; however, nearly 29 percent of the students were found to have already developed chronic tinnitus, as evidenced by a psychoacoustic examination conducted in a sound booth.3
Youth with and without tinnitus had a similar ability to hear, but those with tinnitus had significantly reduced tolerance for loud noise and tended to be more protective of their hearing.
Reduced sound level tolerance is a sign of damage to the auditory nerves
because, when nerves used to process sound are damaged, it prompts brain cells to increase their sensitivity to noise
, essentially making sounds seem louder than they are.
A research study suggests that vagus nerve
stimulation may reverse the pathology of tinnitus
. One of easiest and safest methods to stimulate the vagus nerve is through gentle breathing exercises. The Éiriú Eolas
Stress Control, Healing and Rejuvenation Program combines breathing exercises with meditation in a program that is easy to learn and can be practiced almost anywhere making it highly adaptable to our busy lives. It will also help to assist you with reducing your stress
, calming and focusing your mind, creating better links between body and mind and thus improving your quality of life.