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

Tinnitus is an extremely common condition of the ear. Some estimates suggest that 10 percent of people experience tinnitus at one time or another, making it one of the most common health conditions in the world. Even though the most common manifestation of tinnitus is a phantom ringing or buzzing in your ear, it can also present as other sounds too.

Unfortunately, the causes of tinnitus aren’t as obvious 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 very important. If the background sound of your particular environment is very loud, you may be harming your hearing. This environmental tinnitus might sometimes be permanent or it might sometimes react to changes to make your environment quieter.

Why do so many individuals experience tinnitus?

When you hear noises that aren’t actually present, that’s tinnitus. For most individuals, tinnitus manifests as a buzzing or ringing, but it may perhaps also present as rumbling, humming, screeching, or other noises as well. The sounds are typically rhythmic in nature. Tinnitus will normally clear itself up after a short period of time. Though not as common, chronic tinnitus is effectively permanent.

There are a couple of reasons why tinnitus is so prevalent. Firstly, environmental factors that can contribute to tinnitus are fairly prevalent. The second reason is that tinnitus is usually a symptom of a root condition or injury. Put simply, there are lots of such injuries or conditions that can trigger tinnitus. Consequently, tinnitus tends to be rather common.

How is tinnitus affected by environmental factors?

There are a wide variety of factors that can contribute to tinnitus symptoms, including ototoxic chemicals and medicines. However, when the majority of individuals talk about “environment” in terms of tinnitus, they actually mean the noise. Some locations, such as noisy city streets, can get very loud. Likewise, anyone who works around industrial equipment all day would be at risk of their environment worsening their tinnitus.

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

Noise related damage, as with hearing loss, can activate tinnitus symptoms. In these circumstances, the resulting tinnitus tends to be chronic in nature. Some of the most prevalent noise and environment-induced causes of tinnitus include the following:

  • Noise in the workplace: It might come as a surprise that lots of workplaces, sometimes even offices, are fairly noisy. Tinnitus can eventually result from being in these places for eight hours a day, whether it’s industrial equipment or the din of a lot of people talking in an office.
  • Traffic: Traffic in heavily populated places can be much louder than you might expect it to be. And you might not even recognize that your ears can be damaged at lower volumes than you might expect. Long commutes or consistent driving in these noisy environments can eventually lead to hearing damage, including tinnitus.
  • Events: Tinnitus can sometimes be caused by 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 high enough level.
  • Music: Listening to music at high volumes is a fairly common practice. Doing this on a consistent basis can frequently result in tinnitus symptoms.

People frequently wrongly think damage to their ears will only occur at extreme volume levels. For this reason, hearing protection should be utilized at lower volumes than you may expect. Noise related tinnitus symptoms can frequently be avoided altogether by doing this.

What should I do if I have tinnitus?

Will tinnitus go away on its own? Well, in some cases it may. In other cases, your symptoms could be irreversible. At first, it’s basically impossible to tell which is which. If you have tinnitus caused by noise damage, even if your tinnitus does go away, your chance of having your tinnitus return and become chronic is a lot more likely.

Individuals often underestimate the minimum volume that damage begins to happen, which is the most significant contributing factor to its advancement. Damage has most likely already occurred if you’re experiencing tinnitus. If this is the case, finding and changing the source of the noise damage is crucial to prevent additional damage.

Here are a few tips you can try:

  • Reducing the volume of your environment where possible. For example, you could close the windows if you live in a loud area or turn off industrial machinery that is not in use.
  • Using hearing protection (either earplugs or earmuffs) in order to counter damage. You can also get some amount of protection from noise canceling headphones.
  • Reducing the amount of time you spend in loud environments without giving your ears a chance to recover.

Dealing with symptoms

Lots of individuals who experience persistent tinnitus find the symptoms to be tremendously distracting and unpleasant. This prompts them to attempt to find a way to ease the intensity of their symptoms.

You should contact us for an appointment if you are hearing a persistent ringing or buzzing in your ears. We will be able to assess your symptoms and figure out how best to manage them. For the majority of cases of chronic tinnitus, there’s no cure. Symptom management may include the following:

  • Hearing aid: This can help amplify other sounds and, as a result, drown out the ringing or buzzing created by tinnitus.
  • Masking device: This is a device that fits like a hearing aid and plays sounds that mask your symptoms. Your device will be specifically calibrated to mask your symptoms of tinnitus.
  • Relaxation techniques: High blood pressure has sometimes been connected to an increase in the intensity of tinnitus symptoms. So taking a little time to relax (with meditation, for instance) can sometimes help reduce your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Retraining therapy: In some cases, you can work with a specialist to retrain your ears, gradually modifying the way you process sound.
  • White noise devices: Utilizing a white noise device around your house can help you tune out your tinnitus in some instances.

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

But addressing and controlling tinnitus is possible. We’ll be able to establish a specific treatment plan according to your hearing, your tinnitus, and your lifestyle. For some people, dealing with your tinnitus may simply mean making use of a white noise machine. In other situations, a more intensive approach may be necessary.

Learn how to best manage 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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