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BY THE NUMBERS //

Tinnitus: An Infernal Ringing

There's never a quiet moment for the millions suffering from a persistent buzzing in their ears.

Spring 2011
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12
Number, in millions, of Americans who in the 1990s were persistently plagued by tinnitus (from the Latin tinnire, ”to ring“): a ringing in the ears or perception of sound where none is present

16
Americans, in millions, for whom tinnitus is a chronic problem now; while there is no known cure, common treatments include hearing aids (which help cancel out the ringing by clarifying other sounds) and other devices that create ambient noise

Bell

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12
Common causes of tinnitus, some of which (hearing loss, consistent exposure to loud noise, and head or neck trauma) cause chronic tinnitus and others (certain medications, even wax buildup) just fleeting discomfort

50
Americans, in millions, who are temporary or chronic sufferers

260
Medications, most commonly aspirin and Alka-Seltzer, that include tinnitus as a potential side effect

2
Main types of tinnitus: tonal (a continuous ringing) and pulsatile (a rhythmic pulsing, often in concert with one’s heartbeat)

744,000
American veterans in 2010 who received disability payments for tinnitus caused by head or neck trauma, or by such battlefield noises as grenades, helicopters and gunfire

1.1
Number, in billions of dollars, paid to veterans for tinnitus disability in 2009

10
Number, in millions of dollars, allocated to tinnitus research in 2009

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