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Anyone can get tinnitus, though some people are more likely to develop the condition. This includes, white people, older adults (over the age of 65), men, and those with age-related hearing loss. Also, people who have been exposed to loud noises for extended periods of time have a greater chance of developing tinnitus. Those with post-traumatic stress disorder are also at a greater risk.
Sadly, military personnel are at a high risk for developing tinnitus since they are exposed to such loud noises over a long period of time. Tinnitus is currently the number one miliatary connected disability for veterans from all periods of service. Since 2005, the number of veterans receiving disability for tinnitus has increased by at least 15 percent each year. The total number of vets awarded disability compensation for tinnitus at the end of 2010 surpassed 744,000. Soon it is estimated that 1.5 million vets will receive compensation for tinnitus, which will cost American taxpayers over $2.26 billion. Tinnitus is a growing problem for America's military personnel. It can have long term effects on their health and fitness because it can disrupt their sleep, affect their ability to think clearly, create stress in relationships, and limit their ability to hold a job.
Another group largely affected by tinnitus are musicians and music lovers. Whether they play music for a living or as a hobby, or just listen to loud music, they may be at risk for developing hearing loss and subsequent tinnitus. It does not matter the type of music, jazz, classical, rock, heavy metal, Latin, it all can be too loud. If you play music, it is suggested to get special, custom-made hearing protection since you play, sit or stand near loud instruments and speakers. Others involved with the music industry like performers and audio engineers are also at risk for noise-induced tinnitus. Music is a part of so many people's lives, many like to listen to it too loud. The negative effects might not begin to show in the short run, but tinnitus arises as a cumulative effect of noise over a period of many years.
Individuals who work near loud equipment such as an aircraft, loud equipment or machinery, forest industry personnel, construction and shooting range operators are another significant at-risk group. Often times the hearing protection devices that individuals use are not strong enough to prevent the loud noises from preventing tinnitus after exposure of long periods of time.
Tinnitus is also prevalent in seniors as one of many age-related hearing problems in the older population. Causes likely include the cumulative effect of loud noises and general noise pollution over the years.
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