Noisy neighbourhoods – and how they can cause tinnitus

New research on link between traffic noise and tinnitus launched

By Joanna March · February 9, 2023

This Tinnitus Week we are looking at noise exposure and tinnitus and a research paper published this week shows there is a link between traffic noise and tinnitus. 

In a new study with data from 3.5 million Danes, researchers from the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) found that the more traffic noise Danish residents are exposed to in their homes, the more they are at risk of developing tinnitus. 

The researchers identified a vicious cycle: living near busy traffic increases stress levels, disrupts sleep, and, as a result, leads to higher risk of developing tinnitus. 

This study is the first time researchers have found a link between residential traffic noise exposure and hearing-related outcomes. And for every 10dB rise in noise in people’s homes the risk of developing tinnitus increases by 6%. 

The study team also believe that noise at night time can be even worse for health, because of its impact on sleep. 

To try and tackle sleep disturbance in people who live near busy roads, Germany has lower speed limits in some areas at night. Noise barriers and changing the road surface to one that dampens tyre noise can also help. 

Other suggestions to reduce the impact of traffic noise include moving beds to the side of the house furthest from the road and installing double or triple glazing. 


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