Tinnitus Statistics 2024

Tinnitus Statistics 2024

Tinnitus is a condition whereby sufferers experience ringing, buzzing, whooshing or hissing noises in their ears. It has multiple causes, including prolonged exposure to loud noises and environments.

It can range from mildly irritating to a condition that seriously negatively impacts the quality of life of those who experience it.

But how many people do experience it?

We took a look at this and other figures in our 2024 round up of global tinnitus statistics.

The Quick Version

How many people have tinnitus?

How many people have been diagnosed with tinnitus in the UK?

Tinnitus prevalence by age

Do men or women experience tinnitus symptoms more?

Prevalence of tinnitus in Europe

Tinnitus prevalence in the USA

Tinnitus in search

Tinnitus online – Quick facts

Tinnitus causes

How loud is too loud?

Tinnitus statistics

Methodology and raw data


The Quick Version

Only here for the quick figures? Here are the key findings from our research:

  • More than half of the UK population (over the age of 16) has experienced ringing, whooshing, hissing or buzzing sounds in their ears
  • For more than 1 in 10 people in the UK, ringing, whooshing, hissing or buzzing sounds in their ears are a consistent occurrence
  • 12.6% of the UK population over the age of 16 has been diagnosed with tinnitus
  • A third of the population has experienced such symptoms but has not been medically diagnosed

How many people have tinnitus?

Recently, we surveyed 2017 people to find out how many have ever experienced symptoms associated with tinnitus.

We asked:

“Have you ever experienced ringing, buzzing, hissing or whooshing sounds in your ears?”

This is what they told us:

Response% of People Who Gave This Response
Yes54.59%
No45.41%

Over half of people aged 16 and over in the UK have experienced symptoms associated with tinnitus.

So of those 54.59% of people who have, we asked how frequently and whether or not any sort of diagnosis had been obtained.

Which of the following best describes your experience of ringing, buzzing, hissing or whooshing sounds in your ears? (Question posts only to the 54.59% of people who said they had experienced these symptoms)

Response% of People Who Gave This Response (from the 54.59%)% of overall population who’ve therefore experienced this
I experience this often but not always
30.7%16.75%
I experience this sometimes
29.61%16.16%
I always/consistently experience this
21.98%11.99%
I have only experienced this on rare occasions17.71%9.67%
  • More than 1 in 6 in the UK experience tinnitus like symptoms often
  • 1 in 6 experience them sometimes
  • For more than 1 in 10, tinnitus like symptoms are a consistent occurrence

So tinnitus like hearing disturbances and symptoms are incredibly common in the UK. But how many people have actually been diagnosed with a condition? We asked the 54.59% of people who’ve experienced these symptoms about their diagnosis.


How many people have been diagnosed with tinnitus in the UK?

Of the 1,101 people in our survey who said they’d experienced these symptoms, we queried whether or not they’d had a diagnosis for them.

Do you have a formal diagnosis for the ringing, buzzing, hissing or whooshing sounds in your ears?

Response% of People Who Gave This Response (from the 54.59%)% of overall population who this then applies to
Yes – it’s been diagnosed as tinnitus23.16%12.64%
Yes – it’s been diagnosed as something other than tinnitus13.81%7.53%
No63.03%34.40%

So more than 1 in 10 people over 16 in the UK has been formally diagnosed with tinnitus.

For the majority of people experiencing tinnitus-like symptoms, no diagnosis has been made.


Tinnitus prevalence by age

How does tinnitus vary by age group?

We delved into our survey data a little more and found:

Age Group% who have experienced ringing, whooshing, hissing or buzzing sounds in their ears ever% of people  who experience such symptoms consistently/always% of people who experience such symptoms often but not always% of people with a formal tinnitus diagnosis
16 – 2472.76%8.20%27.61%10.07%
25 – 3461.86%11.88%24.05%15.07%
35 – 4455.94%13.43%17.50%14.06%
45 – 5447.60%8.62%17.89%9.58%
55+47.11%14.30%9.05%13.25%

So on the whole, younger people are considerably likelier to report having ever experienced tinnitus like symptoms:

  • Almost three quarters of those aged 16 to 24 report having ever experienced symptoms
  • But only 8.20% say they experience these symptoms consistently (lower than all other age groups
  • Over a quarter of those aged 16 to 24 experience symptoms often
  • Those aged 25 to 34 are the likeliest to have a formal tinnitus diagnosis with just over 15% reporting such
  • 14% of those aged 35 to 44 have a formal diagnosis
  • Despite so many 16 to 24s having experienced symptoms at some point, just 1 in 10 have a formal tinnitus diagnosis
  • 1 in 10 Americans suffers tinnitus

Do men or women experience tinnitus symptoms more?

We split the data by gender as well, to look at the prevalence amongst men and women.

Gender% who have experienced ringing, whooshing, hissing or buzzing sounds in their ears ever% of people  who experience such symptoms consistently/always% of people who experience such symptoms often but not always% of people with a formal tinnitus diagnosis
Male52.20%12.46%17.98%13.07%
Female56.84%11.56%15.60%12.23%

While women are slightly likelier to have ever experienced the symptoms associated with tinnitus, it’s men who are likelier to have experienced them often or always. Men are also slightly likelier to have received a formal tinnitus diagnosis.


Prevalence of tinnitus in Europe

So based on our own data, we can see that more than 1 in 10 people in the UK has a tinnitus diagnosis.

But what do the official statistics for the wider European continent say? A 2021 study published in the Lancet looked at the prevalence of tinnitus across the following European countries:

  • Bulgaria
  • England
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Spain

The study found that:

  • 14.7% of the population suffered from any form of tinnitus
  • 6.0% of the population experience “bothersome” tinnitus
  • 1.2% of the population experience “severe” tinnitus

Tinnitus prevalence in the USA

According to CDC data, around 1 in 10 Americans suffers with tinnitus.

This would represent some 25 million people – a significant volume of people experiencing the condition.


With so many millions of us turning to Doctor Google each day to search our symptoms, looking at the trends in searches for tinnitus help can give us an insight into trends over time.

Using kwfinder.com, we looked at how many searches have been made in the USA and UK over time for these queries:

  • Tinnitus
  • Tinnitus symptoms
  • Tinnitus treatment
  • Tinnitus cure
  • Ringing in ears
  • How to stop ringing in ears

We found:

Estimated of searches made in each of the stated years in Google USA for the keywords outlined below (data from kwfinder.com)

Keyword2020202120222023
Tinnitus306200038710003227000409600
Tinnitus symptoms7710093700102600140100
Tinnitus treatment221200307000318700587000
Tinnitus cure356100441600405800348000
Ringing in ears1695000175600016460001185000
How to stop ringing in ears278600254300217900188200

In other words:

  • There are over 180,000 searches per year made for “how to stop ringing in ears” in Google USA
  • Americans make over 300,000 searches per year for “tinnitus cure,” over half a million per year for “tinnitus treatment” and over 180,000 per year for “how to stop ringing in ears.”

There are over a million searches annually for queries indicating people looking for help from Google with tinnitus symptoms.

What we can see, however, is that the number of searches is declining over time. This doesn’t mean any decline in prevalence, of course. Google searches in many areas were higher during covid with more time spent at home. So we make no specific assumptions about how this relates to covid occurrences.

We also looked at the same data for the UK.

Estimated of searches made in each of the stated years in Google UK for the keywords outlined below (data from kwfinder.com

Keyword2020202120222023
Tinnitus728500810000709000834000
Tinnitus symptoms32000383004140082500
Tinnitus treatment69300112000171700226200
Tinnitus cure1234001361006500041000
Ringing in ears215500227800204000180000
How to stop ringing in ears37800305003130031000

We see a similar pattern in the UK where overall searches are declining. Nevertheless, a significant volume of searches continues to occur.


Tinnitus online – Quick facts

Much like we head to search to Google our symptoms, many people will look up stories, facts and information about tinnitus online in other places and social media channels.

Here are some quick facts, figures and statistics about tinnitus online:

FactFigure as of
February 2024
Number of views on the Wikimedia tinnitus page from July 2015 to April 20239,188,207
Average monthly views on the Wikimedia page64,996
Number of #tinnitus hashtag usages on Instagram261,000
Number of #tinnitusawareness hashtag usages on Instagram22,900
Views the most viewed Youtube video on Tinnitus has received2,800,000

Tinnitus causes

The causes of tinnitus include (but are by no means limited to):

  • Inner ear damage caused by exposure to loud noises frequently
  • Age related hearing loss
  • A build up ear wax
  • An infection of the middle ear
  • Meniere’s Diseases
  • Otosclerosis

The NHS reports that for 1 in 3 people affected, there is no obvious issue with their hearing.

Some of these causes are not things you can actively avoid. But certainly exposure to loud noises (in nightclubs or even at work) is something we should be looking to avoid where possible.


How loud is too loud?

So how loud is too loud? World Health Organisation recommendations stipulate that environmental noises should be below 70 dBA over a 24 hour period and below 75dBA over an 8 hour period.

Exceeding these puts people at risk of hearing loss and other hearing related issues.

But what is 70 dBA? Well, perhaps the easiest way to understand it is to look at the noise levels produced by some common sounds:

SoundsdBA
Human breathing (normally)10
The ticking of a watch20
A soft whisper30
Normal volume conversation60
A washing machine70
Traffic in the city (as heard from inside the car)80
A motorcycle95
Shouting close to your ear110
A 747 aircraft taking off (when you stand as close as you could get without being blown away)140

At 95 dBA (the sound of a motorcycle equivalent) just 50 minutes of constant exposure could cause damage to your hearing.

And remarkably, just 2 minutes of exposure to 110dBA (someone shouting close to your ear) could result in hearing loss.


Tinnitus statistics

What’s clear from our tinnitus statistics round-up is that this is an incredibly prevalent condition with a host of causes. And while you may not be able to prevent all causes of tinnitus, things like ensuring safe noise levels at work (particularly in traditionally loud environments like industrial workspaces) is imperative.


Methodology and raw data

For the survey element of our research, we worked with a market research provider called Censuswide. We chose this specific provider as they adhere to ESOMAR principles and standards.

We requested a minimum of 2000 responses from a demographically representative panel of UK respondents. The final number was 2017.

You can see the raw data for yourself at https://bit.ly/bodytrak and are welcome to use the figures in your findings, with credit in the form of a link back to this page.

For keyword research findings, we used a third-party tool called kwfinder.com which provides monthly estimated searches for any given keyword in Google. We looked at data specific to the countries outlined within. For our annual totals, we simply added together each month of the relevant year.

It is worth noting that such data is always an estimate, and that one search does not equate to one single searcher (one user may make the same search more than once).

For other third-party data sources, the links are included within the write up above.

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