Following a full review of all the available research over the last 35 years, we've increased our estimate of how many people are suffering from tinnitus from 10% of people (1 in 10) to 13.2% ( more than 1 in 8).

As previously revealed, we also think that the number of people living with tinnitus is set to increase even further - by more than half a million over the next decade, due to an increasing and aging population, and the new 1 in 8 figure doesn't include these people.

A recent study from Statistics Canada however, shows young adults - who report higher use of headphones and earbuds - are experiencing rates of tinnitus over one third higher than for older adults. If similar trends are discovered in the UK, this could further increase the number of people living with tinnitus in the UK.

Our new figures are significant because trusts and hospitals will have been using the one in ten numbers to calculate provision for tinnitus services. This could explain why we have been regularly hearing from you about long waits and dissatisfaction with audiology and ENT services. In addition, the burden on the NHS and wider UK economy is even greater than we previously thought.

We need the Government to listen to the voices of people with tinnitus and act now to provide more research into the prevalence of the condition and more resource to help cope with the true number of people for whom tinnitus is a serious burden which affects their quality of life. The healthcare system has to be ready to manage the challenges that the increased tinnitus population now, and in the future, will bring. We will be pressing our case wherever and whenever we can, and we will keep you updated on our progress.


Reference: Genitsaridi E, Burns-O'Connell G, Hall D and Stockdale D. Tinnitus prevalence in the UK, British Tinnitus Association 2019.