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Epidemiology of noise-induced tinnitus and the attitudes and beliefs towards noise and hearing protection in adolescents.

Gilles A, Van Hal G, De Ridder D, Wouters K, Van de Heyning P - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: The limited use of hearing protection is explained by a logistic regression analysis showing the relations between certain parameters and the use of hearing protection.Despite the very high prevalence of tinnitus in such a young population, the rate of hearing protection use and the knowledge about the risks of loud music is extremely low.Future preventive campaigns should focus more on tinnitus as a warning signal for noise-induced damage and emphasize that also temporary symptoms can result in permanent noise-induced damage.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, Belgium. annick.gilles@uza.be

ABSTRACT

Background and objectives: Previous research showed an increase of noise-induced symptoms in adolescents. Permanent tinnitus as a consequence of loud music exposure is usually considered as noise-induced damage. The objective was to perform an epidemiological study in order to obtain prevalence data of permanent noise-induced tinnitus as well as temporary tinnitus following noise exposure in a young population. In addition the attitudes and beliefs towards noise and hearing protection were evaluated in order to explain the use/non-use of hearing protection in a young population.

Methods: A questionnaire was completed by 3892 high school students (mean age: 16.64 years old, SD: 1.29 years). The prevalence of temporary and permanent tinnitus was assessed. In addition the 'Youth Attitudes to Noise Scale' and the 'Beliefs About Hearing Protection and Hearing Loss' were used in order to assess the attitudes and beliefs towards noise and hearing protection respectively.

Results: The prevalence of temporary noise-induced tinnitus and permanent tinnitus in high school students was respectively 74.9% and 18.3%. An increasing prevalence of temporary tinnitus with age was present. Most students had a 'neutral attitude' towards loud music and the use of hearing protection was minimal (4.7%). The limited use of hearing protection is explained by a logistic regression analysis showing the relations between certain parameters and the use of hearing protection.

Conclusions: Despite the very high prevalence of tinnitus in such a young population, the rate of hearing protection use and the knowledge about the risks of loud music is extremely low. Future preventive campaigns should focus more on tinnitus as a warning signal for noise-induced damage and emphasize that also temporary symptoms can result in permanent noise-induced damage.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Tinnitus prevalence.Tinnitus prevalence (temporary as well as permanent) and HP use per age category.
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pone-0070297-g001: Tinnitus prevalence.Tinnitus prevalence (temporary as well as permanent) and HP use per age category.

Mentions: Figure 1 illustrates the tinnitus prevalence per age category. 18.3% (confidence interval = 18.3% ±1.18%) of all students reported the experience of a permanent tinnitus in one or both ears. There were no significant differences between the age groups, with exception of the 14 year-olds who reported significantly less permanent tinnitus (9.2%, p = 0,033) compared to the other age categories. Male respondents reported significantly more permanent tinnitus (20%) compared to female respondents (17%, p = 0.028). The overall prevalence of temporary NIT was 74.9% (confidence interval = 74.9% ±1.37%). In most cases tinnitus was perceived bilaterally as shown in table 2. A significant increase of temporary NIT with age was present in adolescents until 17 years old. Most students (75%) with permanent tinnitus rated loudness on the NRS with a score of 3 or less (mean score = 0.49±1.34). For temporary NIT, the tinnitus loudness was rated significantly higher (mean score = 2.96±2.53; p<0.001), with a score of 5 or less on the NRS for 76.4% of respondents. In 63.2% NIT or a temporary worsening of permanent tinnitus after noise exposure was present up to two hours after noise exposure. In approximately 10% of the respondents tinnitus persisted longer than two hours and in 3.5% tinnitus persisted for more than one day. Nevertheless, the majority (94.8%) of students did not fear permanent tinnitus. When asked about the perception of hearing loss after noise exposure, 39.1% of the respondents reported to sometimes experience a temporary subjective NIHL and 11.4% often to always experience a temporary NIHL. Despite the frequently experienced symptoms of hearing damage, HP was only used by 4.7% of the students, as also illustrated in figure 1.


Epidemiology of noise-induced tinnitus and the attitudes and beliefs towards noise and hearing protection in adolescents.

Gilles A, Van Hal G, De Ridder D, Wouters K, Van de Heyning P - PLoS ONE (2013)

Tinnitus prevalence.Tinnitus prevalence (temporary as well as permanent) and HP use per age category.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3722160&req=5

pone-0070297-g001: Tinnitus prevalence.Tinnitus prevalence (temporary as well as permanent) and HP use per age category.
Mentions: Figure 1 illustrates the tinnitus prevalence per age category. 18.3% (confidence interval = 18.3% ±1.18%) of all students reported the experience of a permanent tinnitus in one or both ears. There were no significant differences between the age groups, with exception of the 14 year-olds who reported significantly less permanent tinnitus (9.2%, p = 0,033) compared to the other age categories. Male respondents reported significantly more permanent tinnitus (20%) compared to female respondents (17%, p = 0.028). The overall prevalence of temporary NIT was 74.9% (confidence interval = 74.9% ±1.37%). In most cases tinnitus was perceived bilaterally as shown in table 2. A significant increase of temporary NIT with age was present in adolescents until 17 years old. Most students (75%) with permanent tinnitus rated loudness on the NRS with a score of 3 or less (mean score = 0.49±1.34). For temporary NIT, the tinnitus loudness was rated significantly higher (mean score = 2.96±2.53; p<0.001), with a score of 5 or less on the NRS for 76.4% of respondents. In 63.2% NIT or a temporary worsening of permanent tinnitus after noise exposure was present up to two hours after noise exposure. In approximately 10% of the respondents tinnitus persisted longer than two hours and in 3.5% tinnitus persisted for more than one day. Nevertheless, the majority (94.8%) of students did not fear permanent tinnitus. When asked about the perception of hearing loss after noise exposure, 39.1% of the respondents reported to sometimes experience a temporary subjective NIHL and 11.4% often to always experience a temporary NIHL. Despite the frequently experienced symptoms of hearing damage, HP was only used by 4.7% of the students, as also illustrated in figure 1.

Bottom Line: The limited use of hearing protection is explained by a logistic regression analysis showing the relations between certain parameters and the use of hearing protection.Despite the very high prevalence of tinnitus in such a young population, the rate of hearing protection use and the knowledge about the risks of loud music is extremely low.Future preventive campaigns should focus more on tinnitus as a warning signal for noise-induced damage and emphasize that also temporary symptoms can result in permanent noise-induced damage.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, Belgium. annick.gilles@uza.be

ABSTRACT

Background and objectives: Previous research showed an increase of noise-induced symptoms in adolescents. Permanent tinnitus as a consequence of loud music exposure is usually considered as noise-induced damage. The objective was to perform an epidemiological study in order to obtain prevalence data of permanent noise-induced tinnitus as well as temporary tinnitus following noise exposure in a young population. In addition the attitudes and beliefs towards noise and hearing protection were evaluated in order to explain the use/non-use of hearing protection in a young population.

Methods: A questionnaire was completed by 3892 high school students (mean age: 16.64 years old, SD: 1.29 years). The prevalence of temporary and permanent tinnitus was assessed. In addition the 'Youth Attitudes to Noise Scale' and the 'Beliefs About Hearing Protection and Hearing Loss' were used in order to assess the attitudes and beliefs towards noise and hearing protection respectively.

Results: The prevalence of temporary noise-induced tinnitus and permanent tinnitus in high school students was respectively 74.9% and 18.3%. An increasing prevalence of temporary tinnitus with age was present. Most students had a 'neutral attitude' towards loud music and the use of hearing protection was minimal (4.7%). The limited use of hearing protection is explained by a logistic regression analysis showing the relations between certain parameters and the use of hearing protection.

Conclusions: Despite the very high prevalence of tinnitus in such a young population, the rate of hearing protection use and the knowledge about the risks of loud music is extremely low. Future preventive campaigns should focus more on tinnitus as a warning signal for noise-induced damage and emphasize that also temporary symptoms can result in permanent noise-induced damage.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus