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

Tinnitus is an exceptionally 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 time or another. The condition is experienced as a sound in the ear that isn’t really there, usually, it’s a buzzing or ringing, but tinnitus can manifest as other sounds as well.

While the preponderance of tinnitus might be evident, the causes are often more cloudy. Some of the wide range of tinnitus causes are temporary, while others can be more permanent.

This is why environmental factors can Have a major impact on tinnitus symptoms. After all, every setting has a soundscape, and when that soundscape is loud, you may be doing damage to your ears. If your tinnitus is caused by damage, it could end up being permanent.

Why do so many individuals experience tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition in which you hear a noise that isn’t really there. Tinnitus typically manifests as a ringing or buzzing, but can also manifest as other sounds, like screeching, thumping, or humming. Usually, the sounds are steady or rhythmic. Tinnitus will usually clear itself up after a short time period. In less common cases, tinnitus might become effectively permanent, a condition referred to as chronic tinnitus.

There are a couple of reasons why tinnitus is so prevalent. The first is that the environmental factors that play a role in tinnitus are also relatively common (more on that soon). Root conditions and injuries can contribute to tinnitus symptoms and that accounts for the second reason. And there are lots of conditions and injuries that can trigger tinnitus. Tinnitus is rather prevalent for these reasons.

How is tinnitus affected by environmental factors?

There are a large number of factors that can bring about tinnitus symptoms, including ototoxic chemicals and medicines. But when it involves “environmental” triggers, noise is the biggest culprit. Some locations, such as noisy city streets, can get very 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 related damage, as with hearing loss, can cause tinnitus symptoms. When tinnitus is a result of noise damage, it’s usually chronic and often permanent. Here are a few of the most prevalent noise-related causes of tinnitus:

  • Traffic: Traffic in heavily populated places can be a lot louder than you may expect it to be. And you may not even recognize that your ears can be damaged at lower volumes than you might expect. Long commutes or consistent driving in these noisy settings can eventually result in hearing damage, including tinnitus.
  • Noise in the workplace: Lots of workplaces, including offices, are frequently 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.
  • 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 type of noise.
  • Music: Many individuals will often listen to their music at loud volumes. Tinnitus will often be the result if you do this frequently.

Hearing damage can occur at a far lower volume than people generally expect. As a result, it’s crucial to wear hearing protection before you think you might need it. Noise induced tinnitus symptoms can frequently be avoided altogether by doing this.

What should I do if I’m experiencing tinnitus?

Will tinnitus go away on its own? Maybe, in some cases. But your symptoms might be irreversible in some cases. Initially, it’s basically impossible to know which is which. If you have tinnitus due to noise damage, even if your tinnitus does go away, your risk of having your tinnitus return and become chronic is a lot more probable.

Individuals often underestimate the minimum volume that damage begins to happen, which is the most significant contributing factor to its development. 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 essential to prevent further damage.

Here are a few tips you can try:

  • Decreasing the amount of time you spend in loud environments without giving your ears a chance to recover.
  • 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 possible, try to decrease environmental volume. For instance, you could shut the windows if you live in a loud area or turn off industrial equipment that is not in use.

Managing symptoms

Many people who experience chronic tinnitus find the symptoms to be extremely distracting and unpleasant. This prompts them to attempt to find a way to ease the severity of their symptoms.

You should give us a call for an appointment if you’re hearing a persistent ringing or buzzing in your ears. We can help you figure out the best way to regulate your particular situation. For most cases of persistent tinnitus, there’s no cure. Here are a few ways to manage the symptoms:

  • Masking device: This is a device that fits similarly to a hearing aid and plays sounds to mask your symptoms. Your device will be specially calibrated to mask your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Relaxation techniques: High blood pressure has sometimes been connected to an increase in the intensity of tinnitus symptoms. Your tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be eased by utilizing relaxation techniques like meditation, for instance.
  • Hearing aid: The ringing or buzzing created by tinnitus can be drowned out by raising the volume of external sounds with hearing aids.
  • White noise devices: In some instances, you can tune out some of your tinnitus symptoms by utilizing a white noise generator around your home.
  • Retraining therapy: In some instances, you can work with a specialist to retrain your ears, gradually changing the way you process sound.

Tinnitus has no cure. That’s why controlling your environment to protect your hearing is a great first step.

But treating and managing tinnitus is possible. 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, may be all that’s required. In other situations, a more extensive approach may be needed.

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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