Risk factors for tinnitus in a population of older adults: the blue mountains hearing study.

Departments fo Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Sydney, New South Wales 2145, Australia.
Ear and Hearing (Impact Factor: 2.83). 01/2004; 24(6):501-7. DOI: 10.1097/01.AUD.0000100204.08771.3D
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To identify potential and modifiable risk factors for tinnitus in a population of older adults.
Cross-sectional study. Detailed questionnaires were interviewer-administered in a representative sample of 2015 persons aged 55+ yr, living in an area west of Sydney, Australia. Air- and bone-conduction audiometric thresholds were measured from 250 to 8000 Hz and from 500 to 4000 Hz, respectively. TEOAE and SOAE were measured for both ears.
After adjusting for multiple variables in a Cox proportional hazards model, factors that significantly increased the risk of tinnitus were poorer hearing and cochlear function, self-reported work-related noise exposure, and history of middle ear or sinus infections, severe neck injury or migraine.
Interventions aimed at reducing age-related hearing loss, particularly by reducing excessive work-related noise exposure, and the effective, timely treatment of ear-related infections, may all decrease the risk of tinnitus.