Approximately one in 10 adults in the U.S. have tinnitus, and durations of occupational and leisure time noise exposures are correlated with rates of tinnitus and are likely targetable risk factors, according to a study published online by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Tinnitus is a symptom characterized by the perception of sound in the absence of an external stimulus.  If persistent and intolerable or sufficiently bothersome, tinnitus can cause functional impairment in thought processing, emotions, hearing, sleep, and concentration, all of which can substantially and negatively affect quality of life. Tinnitus is a common problem for millions of people. A large epidemiologic study of tinnitus and its management patterns in the U.S. adult population is lacking.

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