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70 percent of young Australians experiencing tinnitus

70 percent of Australians aged 18 to 34 years have experienced tinnitus, or ringing in their ears, an early symptom of hearing damage.

A report issued by Australian Hearing, a federal government agency, reported alarming results of a study of the state of hearing health among young Australians. 70 percent of the respondents in the study said they have experienced tinnitus, and 16 percent said they have had ringing in their ears more than once a week.

The high frequency of tinnitus among young Australians is attributed to their lifestyle. Almost one half of the respondents reported that they frequent noisy bars and pubs or listen to music on personal stereos at least once a week.

Hearing loss may occur gradually over time and may not be noticed before it is too late.

- We tend to notice temporary loss of hearing and we notice it coming back over the next day or two. What we don't notice is that at the same time, in the same place but through a different mechanism, there's also a permanent loss going on. A few hair cells dying here, a few hair cells dying there and they add up from time to time, explained Harvey Dillon, of Australian Hearing's research arm, the National Acoustic Laboratories.

Source: Australian Hearing Health Report

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