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

Tinnitus is an extremely common condition of the ear. It’s one of the most common health conditions in the world with some estimates indicating that up to 10 percent of the population experiences it at one point or another. The condition manifests as a sound in the ear that isn’t really there, normally, it’s a buzzing or ringing, but tinnitus can manifest as other sounds as well.

Sadly, the causes of tinnitus aren’t as obvious as the symptoms. Some of the wide range of tinnitus causes are temporary, while others can be more long term.

This is why environmental factors can play a major role in tinnitus symptoms. If the background sound of your particular setting is very noisy, you may be harming your hearing. If your tinnitus is due to damage, it may end up being permanent.

What is tinnitus (and why is it so common)?

Tinnitus is a condition that causes you to hear a noise that isn’t really there. Tinnitus normally manifests as a ringing or buzzing, but can also manifest as other sounds, like screeching, thumping, or humming. Usually, the sounds are consistent or rhythmic. For most people, tinnitus will happen over a short period of time before solving itself and vanishing. In less common cases, tinnitus may become effectively permanent, a condition known as chronic tinnitus.

Tinnitus is so prevalent for a couple of reasons. Firstly, environmental factors that can play a role in tinnitus are rather prevalent. The second reason is that tinnitus is frequently a symptom of an underlying condition or injury. Put simply, there are many such injuries or conditions that can cause tinnitus. Consequently, tinnitus tends to be rather common.

How can the environment impact tinnitus?

Other things can also cause tinnitus, including ototoxic medicines and chemicals. However, when the majority of individuals talk about “environment” in terms of tinnitus, they really mean the noise. Some locations, such as noisy city streets, can get quite loud. Likewise, anybody who works around industrial equipment all day would be at risk of their environment exacerbating their tinnitus.

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

Noise induced damage, as with hearing loss, can activate tinnitus symptoms. When tinnitus is caused by noise damage, it’s usually chronic and often permanent. Here are a few of the most prevalent noise-related causes of tinnitus:

  • Events: Tinnitus can sometimes result from loud noises, even if they aren’t experienced over a long duration. For instance, going to a concert or using firearms can both trigger tinnitus if the volumes reach a loud enough level.
  • Noise in the workplace: Lots of workplaces, including offices, are often the source of loud noises. 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.
  • Traffic: Traffic in densely populated areas can be a lot louder than you may expect it to be. And you might not even realize that your ears can be damaged at lower volumes than you may expect. Long commutes or consistent driving in these loud settings can eventually result in hearing damage, including tinnitus.
  • Music: Many people will frequently listen to their music at high volumes. Tinnitus will frequently be the result if you do this frequently.

Damage to the ears can happen at a far lower volume than people usually expect. For this reason, hearing protection should be used at lower volumes than you may expect. Hearing protection can help prevent tinnitus symptoms from developing in the first place.

What should I do if I have tinnitus?

So, does tinnitus resolve? Well, in some instances it could. But your symptoms might be irreversible in some instances. There’s no way to identify which is which at the beginning. Likewise, just because your tinnitus has gone away for now doesn’t mean that noise damage hasn’t occurred, resulting in an increased risk of chronic tinnitus in the future.

People tend to underestimate the minimum volume that damage starts to happen, which is the most significant contributing factor to its advancement. If you experience tinnitus, your body is telling you that damage has already likely occurred. If this is the situation, finding and changing the source of the noise damage is essential to prevent additional damage.

Here are some tips you can try:

  • Prevent damage by using hearing protection like earplugs or earmuffs. You can also get some degree of protection from noise canceling headphones.
  • Decreasing the amount of time you spend in loud environments without giving your ears a chance to recuperate.
  • If possible, try to lower environmental volume. For instance, you could shut the windows if you live in a noisy area or turn off industrial equipment that is not in use.

How to manage your symptoms

Lots of individuals who experience chronic tinnitus find the symptoms to be extremely disruptive and uncomfortable. Because of this, they frequently ask: how do you quiet tinnitus?

You should call us for an appointment if you’re hearing a persistent buzzing or ringing in your ears. We will be able to evaluate your symptoms and identify how to best address them. There’s no cure for the majority of types of chronic tinnitus. Here are a number of ways to manage the symptoms:

  • Hearing aid: This can help amplify other sounds and, as a result, drown out the ringing or buzzing produced by tinnitus.
  • Relaxation techniques: High blood pressure has sometimes been linked to an increase in the severity of tinnitus symptoms. So taking some time to relax (with meditation, for example) can sometimes help diminish your tinnitus symptoms.
  • White noise devices: Using a white noise device around your house can help you tune out your tinnitus in some cases.
  • Retraining therapy: In some instances, you can work with a specialist to retrain your ears, gradually changing the way you process sound.
  • Masking device: This is a device that fits similarly to a hearing aid and plays sounds that mask your symptoms. The precise calibration of your device will depend on your specific symptoms.

There’s no cure for tinnitus. That’s why managing your environment to protect your hearing is a great first step.

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. For some, managing your tinnitus might simply mean utilizing a white noise machine. In other situations, a more extensive approach might be necessary.

Make an appointment to find out how to regulate your tinnitus symptoms.

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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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