Survey Results of 15 Things That May Cause Tinnitus

About the Author

I had studied statistical analysis in college and I like to solve problems, especially those that may help discover solutions to troubling concerns. With my background I constructed the survey that this analysis is based on.

After the survey had been online for a reasonable length of time, I compiled the results into a form that can be easily interpreted to show if there are any common causes of Tinnitus. The results so far are inconclusive, but interesting.

Little is known what causes ringing in the ears, known as Tinnitus. There is no single characteristic of this ailment.
Little is known what causes ringing in the ears, known as Tinnitus. There is no single characteristic of this ailment. | Source

I have Tinnitus. I also like to do research to help find solutions to problems we all face. This is an analysis of my Survey of Tinnitus Sufferers, which I had done to determine if there is a common theme among us. My hope is to discover if it might be related to a single cause.

Based on my survey results, I compiled an analysis to see if anything stood out. I separated the results into three categories: Those with more affirmative results, those that were less positive, and those that were basically balanced. Where the percentages don’t add up to 100% were due to people who were not sure.

When reviewing the following results, one should keep in mind that statistics can fool us. I had studied statistical analysis in college and I realize that my research with this survey is not complete. It’s one-sided.

The only way to make sense of the results is if we had people without Tinnitus take the same survey, so that we can compare the results side by side. For example, the strong 92% result in favor of those who have WiFi is meaningless. It does not mean that WiFi causes Tinnitus.

I can say this because most people today have WiFi radiation around them, and I am sure most don’t have Tinnitus. This is why we really would need another survey – of those who don’t have Tinnitus. But for what it’s worth, it’s interesting to study the following results.


Eight Things Probably Not Related to Tinnitus


Issues that had many more “no” results than “yes” in the survey may not be related to Tinnitus. These are the following:


  1. Deviated septum - 15% Yes / 69% No
  2. Rosacea - 38% Yes / 62% No
  3. Herniated disc in cervical spine (neck) - 31% Yes / 69% No
  4. Lives near high power electric wires - 17% Yes / 83% No
  5. Tourette - 0% Yes / 100% No
  6. Uses artificial sweeteners - 27% Yes / 73% No
  7. Hit on the ears or sideways slam to the head - 25% Yes / 75% No
  8. Aphasia symptoms (unable to speak for short period) - 7% Yes / 80% No


Analysis:

Source

One of the ideas some professionals have about certain forms of Tinnitus is that it’s a malfunction of the brain, specifically of the auditory functions. This is thought to be the case when no other cause can be attributed to it, such as is obvious if one has hearing loss.

And look at Tourette’s syndrome. Zero percent of Tinnitus sufferers have it (at least of the few who took the survey). But we would need a reverse survey to compare… I’d like to see how many Tourette sufferers have Tinnitus or not.

The items I put in this list would show us if there were any truth to a malfunction of the brain chemistry being the cause. But the “no” answers are so much higher that the conclusion is looking like it’s not the case.

I was almost sure I’d see more yes votes for Rosacea. I had this idea in mind that Rosacea can be an ailment that attacks tissues deep inside in addition to the skin on the surface, thus affecting brain function. But what do I know?


Four Things More Likely Related to Tinnitus


Four things stood out in my survey with more people saying "yes" and I feel that the medical community should consider investigation of these particular issues.


  1. Virtigo - 54% Yes / 46% No
  2. Have mercury teeth fillings - 62% Yes / 38% No
  3. Has WiFi router in home or work - 92% Yes / 8% No
  4. Stood near loud speakers in discos or nightclubs - 75% Yes / 25% No


Analysis:

Standing near loud speakers in a nightclub can cause Tinnitus.
Standing near loud speakers in a nightclub can cause Tinnitus. | Source

Can Vertigo Cause Tinnitus?

Vertigo was close to the middle, but is leaning towards a possibility. Results can also be in the middle because there are many different reasons for Tinnitus.

Can Mercury Fillings Cause Tinnitus?

I find it interesting how many people with Tinnitus have Mercury fillings. I wonder if this can be a cause. I once asked my dentist about removing my mercury fillings that I got as a child. He said it’s safer to leaver them, since the removal process can cause more mercury to be released into the system. He said that if left alone, little is absorbed. Not enough to cause trouble. But I wonder about this.

Can WiFi Cause Tinnitus?

The high percentage of WiFi users is misleading, as I mentioned in the intro above. But it’s an interesting situation to consider. I know I developed Tinnitus in 2005, shortly after WiFi routers started to become a common occurrence in homes and offices. I installed WiFi in my home 2003.

Loud Music and Tinnitus

Standing near speakers in a nightclub and listening to loud music is clearly an issue. One surefire cause of Tinnitus is noise induced. Being near an explosion, for example, leaves people with ringing in the ears and possibly loss of hearing.


Inconclusive Results with Three Other Things


I consider the issues that had nearly equal yes and no answers to be inconclusive. They may or may not have anything to do with developing Tinnitus.


  1. Lets water run in ears during shower – 50% Yes / 50% No
  2. Blows nose hard - 46% Yes / 54% No
  3. Had nosebleeds - 50% Yes / 50% No


Analysis:

Since the results are so balanced with these three items, they should not be ruled out. The results are inconclusive, but with half the responses being positive it's still possible that they may be considered to be a cause of Tinnitus.


Are There Any Doctors Who Really Care To Research Tinnitus?


There are many reasons for Tinnitus that range from stress to hearing loss.The problem I ran into is that each specialist says something different and I never actually found one who knew much about it.

I had an audiologist give me a hearing test. I passed. He couldn't understand why I didn't have hearing loss. But what's worse, he didn't understand the difference between subjective and objective Tinnitus.

The answer to this would indicate if the Tinnitus is a real sound in the ear or if it's imagined by the brain. When I asked him about this he admitted he never tested for it. This surprised me because he was a professional audiologist. The test he performed was a total waste of time.

Another doctor did a CT Scan, but then when I asked if the eighth cranial nerve showed up, he admitted he forgot to image that meaningful auditory nerve. What a waste that was!

And these doctors bill the insurance companies for this useless work!

I welcome any professional who really wants to makes a difference, to apply my survey results with their own research.


© 2013 Glenn Stok

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Comments 12 comments

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States

I have tinnites, but no vertigo. I have had it a long time and doctors have told me there is not treatment. Thanks for writing about this topic.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

Pamela99 - Your doctors were honest with you, saying that there is no treatment. The American Tinnitus Association once told me at one of their meetings that if a cure is ever discovered, they would let us know. There are so many out there who claim to know how to treat it. I know, because I experienced the lies first hand.


oldiesmusic profile image

oldiesmusic 2 years ago from United States

Never knew that WiFi really contributed to tinnitus. But I guess there is a connection to it. Last year my home was installed with WiFi router. Since then my tinnitus has become frequent, I didn't even know before that it was called a tinnitus. Even as I cleaned my ears that "tinny" sound won't just go away. There is no treatment as far as I'm concerned. It just comes and goes away.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

oldiesmusic - You might want to try turning off your WiFi for a while and see if your Tinnitus goes away or improves. Keep in mind that this is not a scientific survey. In the case of WiFi, so many people have it who don't have Tinnitus. The fact that 92% of Tinnitus sufferers say they have WiFi can be misleading, as I mentioned in this article, since most people today already have WiFi in their homes anyway. We would really need to compare to a survey of people who don't have Tinnitus to see if the percentage of WiFi users is lower.

That's why it would be interesting to know if your Tinnitus improves when you go for a few weeks with your WiFi router turned off.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

My husband has tinnitus. He is a former band director, trumpet player, and worked in the oil field as a youth. We think that part of his problem is the loud sounds of being around and playing in bands. The oil field machinery he worked around in his younger days also seems to have affected his hearing mechanisms. He says that it is a constant issue now that he is older. He currently works as a school administrator and the WiFi is always present as well.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

Denise - Thanks for checking this out. You've been busy, haven't you? Your husband probably has noise induced tinnitus. That's one of the more common types. That idea of mine about WiFi being another cause is questionable. I wish some agency of authority would do research on it. I wonder if we'll ever get an answer to that one.


viking305 profile image

viking305 2 years ago from Ireland

I have suffered from Tinnitus for over 30 years. The cause of mine I believe is working in a factory as a teenager where it was impossible to hear or talk to other workers because of the noise of the machines.

Then about ten years after that I had a very bad chest infection and this caused another terrible noise in my ears. Neither of these noises have gone away and are so irritating and sometimes worse still they aggravate me to distraction.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

Viking305 - It seems that your type of Tinnitus is from excessive noise from your work environment. It's interesting that it got worse when you had a chest infection. That goes to show that very little is still known about Tinnitus. It can be related to so many other illnesses. I'm sorry to hear that yours is aggravating to distraction. Mine was like that at the beginning but I learned to ignore it as best I can.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 14 months ago from Australia

I have had Tinnitus since about 1960 , caused by an industrial accident ( no WiFi around then) I have been through all of the tests and I am convinced that 'doctors' don't know anything / or don't want to know anything about the Problem.

I do use 'masking' methods to cover up the 'ringing' and I do know that stress will make the problem worse.

I was also tested for Meniere's disease but thankfully was cleared:)

I believe that many people develop Tinnitus by not 'protecting' their hearing at a young age and with the advent of ear pods the problem will more than likely get worse and we will have a higher percentage of people with Tinnitus further down the track !


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 14 months ago from Long Island, NY Author

agvulpes - I agree with you that doctors don't know anything about tinnitus. This was proven to me by the many doctors I had gone to when my tinnitus first began. I found it to be a disgrace how doctors lied about knowing how to cure it, when all the "cures" failed. They also could never answer my questions. One doctor even did an MRI and when I asked him if my 8th cranial nerve, which is the auditory nerve, showed up in the MRI, he became infuriated that I knew more than he knew.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 14 months ago from Arkansas

Very interesting survey, but as you say, it isn't conclusive. My brother and I both have tinnitus, and neither of us can remember ever not having it. I worked in radio for 20 years when I was young, and he listened to loud music during the hard rock years. We have both been diagnosed with a hearing loss and were fitted with hearing aids which helped neither of us. We came to the same conclusion, each on our own, that the tinnitus masks sounds in certain auditory ranges and we test out not hearing them. This has yet to be proved, and my audiologist doesn't believe it. Anyway, just adding to your already existing stock of information. If you find a cure, please publish it.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 14 months ago from Long Island, NY Author

MizBejabbers - Sorry to hear that you and your brother both had tinnitus as far back as you remember. I can remember the time when I didn't have it. When it first began, I had hopes of getting back to experiencing the quiet, but that never happened. It became permanent. But I got used to it. I don't have a problem with hearing lose, expect at the one single frequency where my tinnitus is.

I had the same experience with doctors as you had. My audiologist didn't even understand how I can hear everything else. I'm actually surprised that an educated doctor doesn't understand how sound is simply various frequencies. If one is blocked, it doesn't necessarily affect hearing other frequencies. You and I need to find better doctors. Let me know if you find one. :-)

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