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

It isn’t unusual for individuals to have ringing in their ears, also known as tinnitus. 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 is experienced as a sound in the ear that isn’t actually there, normally, it’s a buzzing or ringing, but tinnitus can take the form of other sounds also.

While the preponderance of tinnitus might be obvious, the causes are often more cloudy. Some of the wide variety 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. After all, every setting has a soundscape, and when that soundscape is loud, you may be causing damage to your ears. If your tinnitus is a result of damage, it may end up being permanent.

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

When you hear sounds that aren’t actually there, that’s tinnitus. Tinnitus usually manifests as a ringing or buzzing, but can also manifest as other sounds, like screeching, thumping, or humming. Normally, the sounds are consistent or rhythmic. Tinnitus will typically clear itself up after a short period of time. In less common cases, tinnitus may become effectively permanent, a condition referred to as chronic tinnitus.

Tinnitus is so prevalent for a couple of reasons. Firstly, environmental factors that can play a role in tinnitus are fairly prevalent. The second reason is that tinnitus is usually a symptom of a root condition or injury. And there are lots of conditions and injuries that can trigger tinnitus. Consequently, tinnitus tends to be quite common.

How is tinnitus affected by environmental factors?

Other things can also cause tinnitus, including ototoxic medicines and chemicals. However, when most individuals talk about “environment” in terms of tinnitus, they actually mean the noise. Some settings, such as noisy city streets, can get quite loud. Someone would be in danger of environmental tinnitus, for example, if they worked around loud industrial equipment.

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

As with hearing loss, noise-associated damage can eventually trigger tinnitus symptoms. In these situations, the resulting tinnitus tends to be chronic in nature. Here are a few of the most prevalent noise-related causes of tinnitus:

  • Events: If noise is loud enough, even over short periods, tinnitus can sometimes be the outcome. Shooting a gun or going to a rock concert are examples of this kind of noise.
  • Traffic: Traffic in densely populated places can be much louder than you may expect it to be. And noise damage can happen at a lower volume than you may expect. Tinnitus and hearing damage can be the outcome of long commutes in these loud locations.
  • Noise in the workplace: It may come as a surprise that many workplaces, sometimes even offices, are fairly noisy. Whether it’s industrial equipment or chatty office neighbors, spending eight hours a day around continuous workplace noise can eventually lead to tinnitus.
  • Music: Many individuals will frequently listen to their music at high volumes. Tinnitus will often be the result if you do this regularly.

People frequently wrongly believe hearing damage will only happen at extreme volume levels. As a result, it’s essential to use 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’m experiencing tinnitus?

Will tinnitus clear up by itself? Maybe, in some instances. In other situations, your symptoms could be permanent. Initially, it’s basically impossible to know which is which. Moreover, just because your tinnitus has reseeded doesn’t mean that noise damage has not happened, leading to an increased chance of chronic tinnitus down the road.

People tend to underestimate the minimum volume that damage begins to occur, which is the most significant contributing factor to its advancement. If you experience tinnitus, your body is telling you that damage has already probably happened. 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:

  • Using hearing protection (either earplugs or earmuffs) in order to counter damage. Noise canceling headphones can also be a benefit in this regard.
  • If possible, try to lower 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.
  • If you’re in a loud setting, limit the amount of exposure time and give your ears breaks.

Managing symptoms

Lots of individuals who experience persistent tinnitus find the symptoms to be enormously distracting and uncomfortable. Because of this, they often ask: how do you calm tinnitus?

If you hear a ringing or buzzing sound, it’s essential to set up an appointment, particularly if the sound won’t go away. We will be able to assess your symptoms and figure out how best to deal with them. There’s no cure for most kinds of chronic tinnitus. Symptom management might include the following:

  • Retraining therapy: You can sometimes retrain your ears with the help of a specialist, which will progressively retrain the way you process sound.
  • Hearing aid: The ringing or buzzing produced by tinnitus can be drowned out by raising the volume of outside sounds with hearing aids.
  • White noise devices: Utilizing a white noise device around your house can help you tune out your tinnitus in some instances.
  • Relaxation techniques: High blood pressure has sometimes been linked to an increase in the severity of tinnitus symptoms. Your tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be alleviated by using relaxation techniques like meditation, for example.
  • Masking device: This is a device that fits like a hearing aid and plays sounds that mask your symptoms. Your device will be specially calibrated to mask your symptoms of tinnitus.

Tinnitus has no cure. 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. For some people, managing your tinnitus may simply mean utilizing a white noise machine. In other situations, a more intensive approach may be necessary.

Set up an appointment to find out how to address your tinnitus symptoms.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

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.
Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call or Text Us