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by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

This report from the Netherlands, published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, found an association between tinnitus and anxiety and poor sleep quality. The association did not quite reach statistical significance, but confirms what those of us with tinnitus already know. I was only able to read the abstract, so I can’t comment on the details of the study.

Tinnitus is formally defined as the perception of sound without an external sound source, but is commonly called “ringing in the ears.” There are many causes of tinnitus, such as head trauma, but noise exposure is the most common cause.

Sometimes a one-time exposure to loud noise can cause lifetime tinnitus. That’s what happened to me in 2007.

I wish I had known about the dangers of noise.

That’s why I became a noise activist, to try to make the world a quieter place and to try to help others avoid tinnitus.

Please remember: if it sounds loud, it’s too loud, and your auditory health is at risk.

Insert earplugs or leave the noisy environment before you, too, develop tinnitus.