Give Now

A Moment of Science

Ringing In The Ears

Photo of earbuds

Increasing use of earbuds like these has led to an increase in tinnitus. (Berthold Werner, Wikimedia Commons)

Multiple studies have found that many teenagers have chronic tinnitus, also known as ringing in the ears.

Researchers at Antwerp University in Belgium looked at survey data from nearly 4,000 high schoolers and found that one in five reported constant ringing in their ears. The data doesn’t explain exactly why, but it probably has to do with kids listening to MP3 players at high volume all the time.

Tinnitus isn’t just annoying. Chronic ringing in the ears can disturb sleep, hamper concentration, and make it difficult to relax. The ensuing stress can make it hard to function in school and at work.

New Remedies

New research also promises to increase available treatments for tinnitus. U.S. and Canadian researchers have recently patented a device that sends mild electrical pulses to the neck and brief audio tones into the ears of sufferers. Their research has shown that this device significantly reduced ringing in many participants’ ears and entirely eliminated it in some.

Sufferers can also take steps to prevent it. The best thing to do is to turn recorded music down when listening to it with headphones, even if it’s your favorite song.

 

Sources and Further Reading

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from A Moment of Science:

Support for Indiana Public Media Comes From

About A Moment of Science

Search A Moment of Science