Nobody know precisely how many people experience permanent tinnitus. But several surveys made around the world have found that when asked, around 5% of all adults say that they experience permanent tinnitus in one or both ears.
Different surveys – same prevalence
The EuroTrak surveys from 2012 found that 5% of the those interviewed in the UK and in France said that they had permanent tinnitus. In the German EuroTrak survey, 7% said that they had permanent tinnitus.
The MarkeTrak 9 survey made in the US in 2014 also found a prevalence of tinnitus of 5% among the participants. Three-quarters of those interviewed said that they had tinnitus in both ears.
The figure is also confirmed in a New Zealand study made between 2007 and 2013. The study found that 4.5% of the New Zealand adult population suffer from tinnitus.
Temporary or more severe
In scientific literature, a tinnitus prevalence of between 5 and 15% is often mentioned, but some of the surveys and studies also include temporary tinnitus.
Many people around the world experience temporary tinnitus. In fact, most of us have experienced tinnitus occasionally and for shorter periods of time.
But it is estimated that between 1% and 3% of the world’s population suffer so much from severe tinnitus that it has a significant, negative effect on their daily quality of life.
Prevalence may increase
The prevalence of tinnitus is expected to rise in the coming years. The major reason for this is increased exposure to leisure noise. Especially young people’s habit of listening to music on smartphones using headphones and at too high volumes may influence the prevalence of tinnitus in the future.