15 Possible Causes of Tinnitus: Survey Results
This composition is an analysis of a survey of tinnitus sufferers to determine possible reasons for this ailment that causes ringing in the ears.
I have tinnitus and decided to conduct this survey with my background knowledge of statistical analysis.
The following is my analysis of the results, which I separated into three categories:
- Conditions that might be related to tinnitus.
- Conditions that are probably not related.
- Conditions that have inconclusive results.
Explanation of How the Survey Is Analyzed
Results are broken down into percentages to determine how likely any of the conditions might be a cause of tinnitus. In some cases, the percentages don’t add up to 100%. That is due to people who were not sure (and therefore did not answer yes or no).
When reviewing the following results, one should keep in mind that statistics can fool us. Since I studied statistical analysis in college, I realize that my research with this survey is not complete. It isn't very objective. I'll explain why.
The only way to have a non-biased survey would be if an equal number of people who didn't have tinnitus were involved in the study. That would balance out the results between both sides, which would provide a complete picture when comparing answers to the questions.
Since people without tinnitus were not included, the results presented here need to be considered with caution. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to review the results, which could lead to further scientific analysis by doctors interested in such a study.
Conditions That Might Be Related to Tinnitus
Four things stood out in my survey with more people saying "yes," and I feel that the medical community should consider investigating these particular issues.
Can Vertigo Cause Tinnitus?
Survey results: 54% Yes / 46% No
Vertigo was close to the middle but is leaning towards a possibility by 54%.
Can Mercury Tooth Fillings Cause Tinnitus?
Survey results: 62% Yes / 38% No
I find it interesting how many people with tinnitus have mercury fillings. I wonder if this can be a cause. 62% is a considerable percentage leaning towards that possibility.
I once asked my dentist about removing the 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 get into the body. He said that if left alone, little is absorbed. Not enough to cause trouble. Nevertheless, I wonder about this.
Can Wi-Fi Cause Tinnitus?
Survey results: 92% Yes / 8% No
I installed a Wi-Fi router in my house in 2003, just two years before my tinnitus began. That was when they started to become common in homes and offices. So I thought that might have been what is causing it for me.
However, I still need to rule that out. That high 92% percentage of Wi-Fi users is misleading. The high score was only because most people have Wi-Fi in their homes these days anyway.
So the 92% result is meaningless. It does not mean that Wi-Fi causes tinnitus. But it's an interesting situation to consider nevertheless.
Can Loud Music Cause Tinnitus?
Survey results: 75% Yes / 25% No
75% of the people who were asked if they ever stood near loudspeakers in discos or nightclubs said they had done that.
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.
Conditions That Are Probably Not Related
These eight issues received many more “no” than “yes” responses, so they may not be related to tinnitus:
- Deviated septum: 15% Yes / 69% No
- Rosacea: 38% Yes / 62% No
- Herniated disc in cervical spine (neck): 31% Yes / 69% No
- Lives near high power electric wires: 17% Yes / 83% No
- Tourette Syndrome: 0% Yes / 100% No
- Uses artificial sweeteners: 27% Yes / 73% No
- Hit on the ears or sideways slam to the head: 25% Yes / 75% No
- Aphasia symptoms (unable to speak for short period): 7% Yes / 80% No
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.
That is thought to be the case when no other cause can be attributed to it, such as is evident if one has hearing loss.
Look at the results on Tourette’s Syndrome. Zero percent of tinnitus sufferers have it (at least of the few who took the survey). A reverse study would be useful to compare, to see how many tourette sufferers have tinnitus. Unfortunately, I don't have that survey.
The items I put in this survey would show if a malfunction of the brain chemistry were the cause. However, based on the higher rate of the “no” responses, it looks like that is not the case.
I was almost sure I'd see more affirmative responses for rosacea. I thought that rosacea might attack tissues deep inside, besides just the skin, thus affecting the brain. The survey results disproved that theory.
Conditions That Have Inconclusive Results
I consider the issues that had nearly equal "yes" and "no" responses inconclusive. These three were more or less balanced:
- Allows water to run in ears during a shower: 50% Yes / 50% No
- Blows nose hard: 46% Yes / 54% No
- Had nosebleeds: 50% Yes / 50% No
Even though the results are so balanced, these three items should not be ruled out. The results are inconclusive, but with half the responses being positive, they may still be possible.
Do Doctors Know Anything About Tinnitus?
There are many possible causes for tinnitus, ranging from stress to hearing loss. The problem I ran into is that each specialist told me something different, and I never actually found one who knew much about it.
I had one audiologist give me a hearing test. I passed. He couldn't understand why I didn't have hearing loss. What's worse is that he didn't understand the difference between subjective and objective tinnitus.
The difference is important, and any doctor who does not know that is a quack. The answer to this would indicate if the tinnitus is a real sound in the ear (objective), or if the brain imagines it (subjective).
When I asked him about this, he admitted he never tested for it. That 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 was visualized in the scan, he admitted he did not get an image of that significant auditory nerve. What a waste that was!
These doctors bill the insurance companies for this useless work! That's really a shame!
I am sure there are doctors in the field who have integrity and desire to make a difference for patients rather than make them believe they know something. I welcome any professional who wants to makes a difference to use my survey results in their research.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2013 Glenn Stok