Self-reported tinnitus and noise sensitivity among adolescents in Sweden

Noise Health. 2004 Oct-Dec;7(25):29-40.


It seems to be a common opinion among researchers within the field of audiology that the prevalence of tinnitus will increase as a consequence of environmental factors, for example exposure to loud noise. Young people are exposed to loud sounds, more than any other age group, especially during leisure time activities, i.e. at pop concerts, discotheques and gyms. A crucial factor for the prevention of hearing impairments and hearing-related symptoms in the young population is the use of hearing protection. The focus of the present study is use of hearing protection and self-reported hearing-related symptoms, such as tinnitus and noise sensitivity in a young population of high-school students (N=1285), aged 13 to 19 years. The results show that the prevalence of permanent tinnitus and noise sensitivity, reported in the total group, was 8.7% and 17.1% respectively. Permanent tinnitus was not significantly related to level of socio-economic status, but age-related differences in the prevalence rates of experienced tinnitus and noise sensitivity were found to be significant. Older students reported such symptoms to a greater extent than younger students did. Those who reported tinnitus and other hearing-related symptoms protected their hearing to the highest extent and were the ones most worried.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Audiology
  • Ear Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss / epidemiology*
  • Hearing Loss / etiology
  • Hearing Loss / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities
  • Loudness Perception / physiology*
  • Male
  • Noise / adverse effects*
  • Prevalence
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Tinnitus / epidemiology*
  • Tinnitus / etiology
  • Tinnitus / prevention & control