We hear figures of up to 20-30% of the population supposedly having tinnitus, but is tinnitus really that prevalent? In this episode, we learn that such data is based on population studies where people are asked questions like “have you heard ringing in your ears for more than 5 minutes in the past year?”. That’s not helpful data. When it comes to finding better treatments, we need to zoom in on chronic, severe tinnitus.
We talk about the need for bigger and better data for tinnitus with Christopher Cederroth, a researcher who focuses on the genetic underpinnings of tinnitus, and David Stockdale, the chief executive of the British Tinnitus Association.
Existing data from biobanks has already taught us a fair bit about tinnitus, for instance that chronic tinnitus tends to be persistent over the years. But we need better tinnitus definitions than the “5 minutes” one, we need larger sample sizes, and higher quality data on for instance hearing profiles. You can take part and contribute your data too!
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