Tinnitus is a big problem in America: some four out of 10 of the 23 million adults with hearing loss have not sought a solution for their hearing loss because they ALSO have tinnitus*—and in evaluating Google searches, nearly twice as many people search on the term tinnitus versus hearing loss.

The BHI maintains that the presence of tinnitus among people with hearing loss serves as a key obstacle in not seeking the services of a hearing health care professional. If the organization can demonstrate that the hearing health industry provides significant benefit for hearing loss and concurrent mitigation for some with tinnitus, the group could perhaps generate positive public relations, which could influence more people sooner in seeking the services of a hearing health care professional.

In collaboration with BHI advisor Richard Tyler, PhD, of the University of Iowa the BHI is exploring tinnitus treatment practices in America. Tyler, an internationally recognized expert on tinnitus, has recently edited The Consumer Handbook on Tinnitus (Auricle Ink Publishers, April/2008).

The BHI is asking audiologists, hearing-instrument specialists, and otolaryngologists to complete a short online survey on tinnitus treatment at their practices. The results will be analyzed and published soon.

The organization is will dedicate a section of MarkeTrak VIII (December/2008) to tinnitus, in which tinnitus prevalence and customer satisfaction with current modalities will be assessed, such as effectiveness of hearing aids in the treatment of tinnitus.

*(Source: MarkeTrak VII – Obstacles to adult non-user adoption of hearing aids (HJ, April 2007)