Skip Navigation

ENT-VSL-10 Data Details

ENT-VSL-10 Increase the proportion of adults for whom tinnitus is a moderate to severe problem who have tried appropriate treatments

About the Data

Description of the data source, numerator, denominator, survey questions, and other relevant details about the national estimate.

National Data Source
National Health Interview Survey (NHIS); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics (CDC/NCHS)
Changed Since the Healthy People 2020 Launch
percent (age adjusted—see Comments)
Baseline (Year)
80.9 (2007)
Target-Setting Method
10 percent improvement
Number of persons aged 18 years and over for whom tinnitus is a moderate, big, or very big problem and who have tried appropriate treatments such as masking or sound therapy, cognitive therapy, tinnitus retraining therapy, psychiatric treatment, drugs/medications, nutritional supplements, or surgery
Number of persons aged 18 years and over who have been bothered with tinnitus (ringing, roaring, or buzzing in the ears or head that lasts for 5 or more minutes) and for whom it is a moderate, big, or very big problem
Questions Used to Obtain the National Baseline Data

From the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, Hearing Supplement:


IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS, have you been bothered by ringing, roaring, or buzzing in your ears or head that lasts for 5 minutes or more? [Read if necessary:] Tinnitus (TIN-uh-tus) is the medical term for ringing, roaring or buzzing in the ears or head.

  1. Yes
  2. No

How much of a problem is this ringing, roaring, or buzzing in your ears or head?

  1. No problem
  2. A small problem
  3. A moderate problem
  4. A big problem
  5. A very big problem


Have you ever tried any remedies or treatments for this ringing, roaring, or buzzing in your ears or head?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Which of the following treatments have you tried?

  1. Amplification/Hearing aids
  2. Masking with wearable device (with or without hearing aids)
  3. Masking with non-wearable device (sound generators to help with sleep)
  4. Cognitive therapy with counseling
  5. Stress reduction or relaxation methods
  6. Biofeedback
  7. Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT)
  8. Psychiatric treatment
  9. Surgery to cut the hearing nerve
  10. Drugs or medications
  11. Nutritional supplements
  12. Music therapy
  13. Temporal mandibular joint treatment
  14. Alternative methods (hypnosis, acupuncture, etc.)
  15. Other
Data Collection Frequency
Comparable Healthy People 2010 Objective
Not applicable
Methodology Notes

The denominator is calculated as the number of adults who responded: “Yes” to HRTIN and “3, 4, or 5” to HRTNPROB. The numerator includes the subjects in the denominator who also responded: “Yes” to HRTINRM and “1, 2, 3, …, 14” to HRREMTYP. The number of adults is the weighted sample number estimated for the U.S. population.

Tinnitus, often described as a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear, is a symptom that can be related to almost every known hearing problem. Tinnitus is not a disease, but it can be caused by exposure to loud sounds, middle or inner ear infections, tumors on the hearing nerve, and even wax on the eardrum. Sometimes tinnitus can be medically or surgically treated.

Age Adjustment

This Indicator uses Age-Adjustment Groups:

  • Total: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Sex: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Race/Ethnicity: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Educational Attainment: 25-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Family Income: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Family Type: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Country of Birth: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Disability Status: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Geographic Location: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Health Insurance Status: 18-44, 45-64
  • Marital Status: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+


Additional resources about the objective.

  1. Davis PB, Paki B, Hanley PJ. 2007. Neuromonics tinnitus treatment: third clinical trial. Ear Hear. 28(2):242–259.
  2. Dobie RA. 2003. Depression and tinnitus. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 36(2):383–388.
  3. Klein, R.J.; Proctor, S.E.; Boudreault, M.A.; Turczyn, K.M. Healthy People 2010 Criteria for Data Suppression. Statistical Notes No. 24. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2002.