More and more tinnitus

Ear specialists see increasing numbers of tinnitus patients.

For many people, tinnitus is a daily annoyance, and it does not take much for the constant hissing and ringing noises to come about. Often, one concert is enough.

"I see many patients with tinnitus or hearing loss from a pop music concert", says Dr. Doria Maria Denk, professor at the Vienna University ear nose and throat clinic.

She is appealing for lowered noise levels at concerts that otherwise often reach 120 dB. But it is not just concert producers that must be responsible. The same applies to people in ther daily lives.

"If you turn up your MP3-player or stereo at full blast you cannot be surprised when the day comes that your ears have had enough and you hear ringing or hissing in your ears," says Doria Maria Denk.

Frequent visits to nightclubs are another common cause of tinnitus and hearing loss.

Ear, nose and throat doctors in Germany have recorded noise levels in a number of discotheques. They found noise levels as loud as the takeoff of a jet airliner. Techno music, in particular, is rough on the ears. Hour upon hour of the thumping base noise is extremely hazardous for your hearing.

If you do not want to give up concerts and night clubbing, at the very least you should wear earplugs. It is important to remember never to take them out during loud music. When earplugs are removed the sound pressure in the ears rises significantly, even if it is for just a few moments.

About three million Germans suffer from permanent tinnitus.

Source: (April, 2004) and Bayerischer Rundfunk Online (March, 2004)

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