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 prevalent health conditions in the world with some estimates suggesting 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 take the form of other sounds too.

While the prevalence of tinnitus may be evident, the causes are frequently more cloudy. Some of the wide array of tinnitus causes are temporary, while others can be more long term.

This is why environmental factors can Have a major impact on tinnitus symptoms. If the background sound of your particular environment is very noisy, you might be damaging your hearing. If your tinnitus is a result of damage, it could end up being permanent.

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

Tinnitus is a condition that causes you to hear a noise that isn’t really there. For most individuals, tinnitus manifests as a buzzing or ringing, but it could also present as rumbling, humming, screeching, or other noises as well. The sounds are usually rhythmic in nature. For most people, tinnitus will happen over a short period of time before solving itself and vanishing. Though not as common, chronic tinnitus is effectively permanent.

Tinnitus is so common for a couple of reasons. The first is that the environmental factors that play a role in tinnitus are also relatively common (more on that in a bit). Root conditions and injuries can bring about tinnitus symptoms and that accounts for the second reason. And there are a wide variety of conditions and injuries that can trigger tinnitus. Consequently, tinnitus tends to be very common.

How can the environment impact tinnitus?

Other things can also cause tinnitus, including ototoxic medications and chemicals. However, when most individuals discuss “environment” in terms of tinnitus, they really mean the noise. For example, some neighborhoods are noisier than others (traffic noise in some settings can get exceptionally high). Someone would be at risk of environmental tinnitus, for example, if they worked around loud industrial equipment.

When evaluating the state of your health, these environmental factors are extremely important.

As with hearing loss, noise-related damage can eventually trigger tinnitus symptoms. When tinnitus is caused by noise damage, it’s typically chronic and frequently permanent. Here are some of the most prevalent noise-related causes of tinnitus:

  • Noise in the workplace: Lots of workplaces, including offices, are frequently the source of loud noises. Whether it’s industrial equipment or chatty office neighbors, spending eight hours a day around constant workplace noise can eventually lead to tinnitus.
  • Traffic: You might not even recognize how loud traffic can be in heavily populated locations. And noise damage can occur at a lower volume than you might expect. Tinnitus and hearing damage can be the result of long commutes in these loud locations.
  • Music: Listening to music at high volumes is a fairly common practice. Doing this on a regular basis can frequently result in tinnitus symptoms.
  • Events: Tinnitus can sometimes result from loud noises, even if they aren’t experienced over a long time-period. Shooting a gun or going to a rock concert are instances of this kind of noise.

People frequently wrongly believe hearing damage will only occur at extreme volume levels. For this reason, hearing protection should be utilized at lower volumes than you may expect. Hearing protection can help you avoid tinnitus symptoms from developing in the first place.

What should I do if I have tinnitus?

Will tinnitus clear up on its own? Maybe, in some instances. In other situations, your symptoms could be irreversible. Initially, it’s basically impossible to know which is which. If you have tinnitus due to noise damage, even if your tinnitus does clear up, your chance of having your tinnitus come back and become chronic is much more probable.

One of the most main contributing factors to the development of tinnitus is that individuals tend to underestimate the volume at which damage occurs to their ears. Damage has probably already occurred if you’re experiencing tinnitus. If this is the case, identifying and changing the source of the noise damage is crucial to prevent additional damage.

For instance, you could try:

  • If possible, try to lower environmental volume. If you have any machinery that’s not in use, turn it off, and shut the windows if it’s noisy outside, for instance.
  • Wearing hearing protection (either earplugs or earmuffs) in order to prevent damage. You can also get some degree of protection from noise canceling headphones.
  • If you’re in a noisy environment, regulate the amount of exposure time and give your ears rests.

How to handle your symptoms

The symptoms of tinnitus are frequently a big distraction and are quite uncomfortable for most people who deal with them. As a result, they frequently ask: how do you quiet tinnitus?

You should give us a call for an appointment if you are 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 most forms of chronic tinnitus. Symptom management might include the following:

  • Hearing aid: The ringing or buzzing produced by tinnitus can be drowned out by amplifying the volume of outside sounds with hearing aids.
  • Masking device: This device is a lot like a hearing aid, but instead of amplifying sounds, it masks them. The precise calibration of your device will depend on your particular symptoms.
  • White noise devices: In some cases, you can tune out some of your tinnitus symptoms by using a white noise generator around your house.
  • Retraining therapy: In some situations, you can work with a specialist to retrain your ears, gradually changing the way you process sound.
  • Relaxation techniques: Tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be aggravated by high blood pressure. So taking some time to relax (with meditation, for example) can sometimes help diminish your tinnitus symptoms.

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

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

Schedule an appointment to learn 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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