More than a third of Canadians have tinnitus, and young adults were significantly more likely to suffer, reports Statistics Canada, which offers this response: their audio devices plugged into headphones and loud music.
Tinnitus is the perception of a sound, such as a ringing or whistling, in the absence of an external sound source. It is also called “ghost noise”.
In its study released Wednesday, the federal statistical agency calculates that 37 percent of Canadian adults, or 9.2 million people, had tinnitus in the year prior to data collection. This one was carried out from 2012 to 2015.
But there are differences by age group: young adults aged 19 to 29 were more likely to have tinnitus in the previous year (46 per cent) than people aged 30 to 49 (33 percent) and those aged 50 to 79 (35 percent).
This can be explained by the fact that young adults were more likely to use audio devices connected to a headset or headphones (80 percent), compared to 53 percent of people aged 30 to 49. years and 28 percent of people aged 50 to 79. They were also more likely to use, on average, higher volumes for more hours per week, two risk factors for tinnitus, the report says.
These tinnitus affect sleep, concentration or mood. Their severity can range from temporary discomfort to a chronic condition that disrupts a person’s life, says Statistics Canada.
Tinnitus was also associated with the mental health of people living with this problem. People with tinnitus (17 per cent) or non-annoying (10 per cent) were more likely to report fair or poor mental health compared to those who did not (6 per cent).
This study is based on a sample of 6571 respondents (3250 men and 3321 women) aged 19 to 79 who participated in the Canadian Health Measures Survey.