A study has found that the self-reported prevalence of bothersome tinnitus in the U.S. Army is 17.1%. According to the authors of the study, this is substantially higher than that of the general US population, where the prevalence of bothersome tinnitus is estimated to be 6.6%.
Tinnitus – also known as ringing ears – is noises inside the head. The noise can be heard anywhere in the head or in one or both ears.
In the study, 3.6% of the soldiers reported that they were "bothered a little" and 3.5% reported that they were "bothered a lot."
More tinnitus with age
The prevalence of self-reported bothersome tinnitus was higher for males, older soldiers and reserve component soldiers. For every 1-year increase in age, the odds of self-reporting "bothered a little" tinnitus relative to "bothered not at all” tinnitus would be expected to increase by 2.2% and the odds of self-reporting "bothered a lot" tinnitus relative to "bothered not at all" tinnitus would be expected to increase by 3.6%.
The study analysed records from 1,485,059 U.S. Army soldiers retrieved from the Defense Occupational and Environmental Health Readiness System-Hearing Conservation.
The study, “Prevalence of Self-Reported Bothersome Tinnitus in U.S. Army Soldiers From January 1, 2015, Through September 30, 2019”, was published in the American Journal of Audiology.