Tinnitus Awareness Week, which runs from February 7 to February 13 raises awareness of the symptoms of tinnitus.
“We estimate that more than 500,000 Australian workers experience constant tinnitus, indicating the prevalence of tinnitus in the Australian workforce is high,” said Ms. Lewkowski, Lead author and audiologist from the Curtin School of Population Health.
Working men aged 55 to 64 years were most likely to suffer from tinnitus, with workers in the automotive, transport, agricultural, construction, and other trade industries at the greatest risk.
Transport workers included mobile plant operators, as well as taxi, delivery, truck, tanker, bus, rail, and forklift drivers.
However, as drivers are not usually exposed to the same levels of loud noise as some other workers, it is interesting that this workforce has a high prevalence of tinnitus. One theory is that other workplace exposures, such as carbon monoxide in vehicle exhaust, may be contributing to the risk.
While there is a documented link between hazardous noise exposure and tinnitus, the role workplace chemicals play in the development of tinnitus requires further detailed examination.
The survey also found men were more likely than women to report any tinnitus or constant tinnitus, and the likelihood of constant tinnitus increased with age for both men and women.