Worried man listening to a ringing in his ear. Tinnitus concept

Tinnitus is an incredibly common condition of the ear. Some estimates indicate that 10 percent of people experience tinnitus at one point or another, making it one of the most prevalent health conditions in the world. The condition manifests as a sound in the ear that isn’t really there, typically, it’s a buzzing or ringing, but tinnitus can take the form of other sounds also.

Unfortunately, the causes of tinnitus aren’t as evident as the symptoms. Some of the wide array of tinnitus causes are temporary, while others can be more long term.

That’s why your environment can be really important. After all, every environment has a soundscape, and when that soundscape is loud, you could be doing damage to your ears. If your tinnitus is due to damage, it may end up being permanent.

Why do so many individuals experience tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition that causes you to hear a sound that isn’t really there. Tinnitus normally manifests as a ringing or buzzing, but can also manifest as other noises, like screeching, thumping, or humming. Typically, the sounds are constant or rhythmic. For the majority of people, tinnitus will happen over a short period of time before resolving itself and going away. Though not as common, chronic tinnitus is effectively permanent.

Tinnitus is so prevalent for a couple of reasons. Firstly, environmental factors that can contribute to tinnitus are fairly common. Underlying conditions and injuries can contribute to tinnitus symptoms and that accounts for the second reason. Put simply, there are lots of such injuries or conditions that can cause tinnitus. Tinnitus is quite prevalent for these reasons.

How is tinnitus impacted by environmental factors?

There are a large number of factors that can bring about tinnitus symptoms, including ototoxic chemicals and medicines. However, when most individuals talk about “environment” when it comes to tinnitus, they actually mean the noise. Some locations, such as noisy city streets, can get quite loud. Somebody would be at risk of environmental tinnitus, for instance, if they worked around loud industrial equipment.

These environmental factors can be exceptionally important when considering your hearing health.

Noise related damage, as with hearing loss, can trigger tinnitus symptoms. In these cases, the resulting tinnitus is often chronic in nature. Some of the most common noise and environment-induced causes of tinnitus include the following:

  • Music: Listening to music at loud volumes is a pretty common practice. Tinnitus will often be the outcome if you do this regularly.
  • Traffic: Traffic in densely populated places can be a lot louder than you might expect it to be. And you might not even realize that your ears can be damaged at lower volumes than you might expect. Tinnitus and hearing damage can be the outcome of long commutes in these noisy locations.
  • Noise in the workplace: It might come as a surprise that lots of workplaces, sometimes even offices, are fairly loud. Tinnitus can eventually result from being in these settings for eight hours a day, whether it’s industrial equipment or the din of lots of people talking in an office.
  • Events: If noise is loud enough, even over short stretches, tinnitus can sometimes be the outcome. For example, attending a concert or using firearms can both lead to tinnitus if the volumes get to a loud enough level.

People frequently wrongly believe hearing damage will only happen at extreme volume levels. Consequently, it’s important to wear hearing protection before you think you might need it. Hearing protection can help you avoid tinnitus symptoms from developing in the first place.

What should I do if I have tinnitus?

So, does tinnitus resolve? Maybe, in some instances. In other situations, your symptoms could be irreversible. At first, it’s basically impossible to tell which is which. Moreover, just because your tinnitus has reseeded doesn’t mean that noise damage hasn’t occurred, leading to an increased chance of chronic tinnitus down the road.

One of the most main contributing factors to the advancement of tinnitus is that people tend to underestimate the volume at which damage occurs to their ears. If you experience tinnitus, your body is telling you that damage has already likely happened. This means that there are several things that you should do to change your environment so as to prevent more permanent damage.

For example, you could try:

  • Lowering the volume of your environment where possible. For instance, you could shut the windows if you live in a noisy area or turn off industrial machinery that isn’t in use.
  • Reducing the amount of time you spend in noisy environments without giving your ears a chance to recover.
  • Stop damage by utilizing hearing protection like earplugs or earmuffs. You can also get some degree of protection from noise canceling headphones.

Dealing with symptoms

Many individuals who experience persistent tinnitus find the symptoms to be enormously distracting and uncomfortable. This prompts them to attempt to find a way to ease the severity of their symptoms.

If you hear a ringing or buzzing sound, it’s important to make an appointment, especially if the sound doesn’t go away. We can help you determine the best way to address your particular situation. There’s no cure for the majority of kinds of chronic tinnitus. Symptom management may include the following:

  • Hearing aid: The ringing or buzzing created by tinnitus can be drowned out by boosting the volume of outside sounds with hearing aids.
  • White noise devices: Using a white noise device around your home can help you tune out your tinnitus in some instances.
  • Relaxation techniques: Tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be exacerbated by high blood pressure. So taking a little time to relax (with meditation, for example) can sometimes help diminish your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Retraining therapy: You can sometimes retrain your ears with the assistance of a specialist, which will progressively retrain the way you process sound.
  • Masking device: This device is a lot like a hearing aid, only instead of amplifying sounds, it masks them. Your device will be specifically calibrated to mask your symptoms of tinnitus.

There’s no cure for tinnitus. A great first step would be to safeguard your hearing by managing your environment.

But tinnitus can be managed and managed. Depending on your lifestyle, your hearing, and your tinnitus, we’ll be able to formulate a specific treatment plan for you. A white noise machine, for many people, might be all that’s required. For others, management may be more demanding.

Learn how to best control your tinnitus by making an appointment right away!

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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