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

It isn’t unusual for people to have ringing in their ears, also known as tinnitus. It’s one of the most common health conditions in the world with some estimates suggesting that up to 10 percent of the population experiences it at one time or another. Although the most common manifestation of tinnitus is a phantom ringing or buzzing in your ear, it can also present as other sounds as well.

While the preponderance of tinnitus might be obvious, the causes are frequently more opaque. In part, that’s because tinnitus may result from a wide variety of causes, some of which are temporary and others that can be more long lasting.

That’s why your environment can be critically important. If the background sound of your particular setting is very loud, you may be damaging your hearing. If your tinnitus is a result of damage, it could end up being permanent.

Why do so many individuals experience tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition in which you hear a sound that isn’t actually there. For most people, tinnitus manifests as a ringing or buzzing, but it might also present as thumping, humming, screeching, or other noises as well. The sounds are normally rhythmic in nature. Tinnitus will normally clear itself up after a short time period. In less common cases, tinnitus may become effectively permanent, a condition known as chronic tinnitus.

Tinnitus is so common for a couple of reasons. The first is that the environmental factors that play a role in tinnitus are also fairly common (more on that in a bit). Root conditions and injuries can contribute to tinnitus symptoms and that accounts for the second reason. And there are quite a few conditions and injuries that can result in tinnitus. Consequently, tinnitus tends to be very 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 medications. However, when the majority of people talk about “environment” when it comes to tinnitus, they actually mean the noise. For instance, some locations are louder than others (traffic noise in some areas can get exceptionally high). Somebody would be in danger of environmental tinnitus, for instance, if they worked around loud industrial equipment.

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 is often chronic in nature. Some of the most common noise and environment-related causes of tinnitus include the following:

  • 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 a lot of people talking in an office.
  • Events: Tinnitus can sometimes result from loud noises, even if they aren’t experienced over a long time-frame. Shooting a gun or going to a rock concert are instances of this kind of noise.
  • Music: Many people will often listen to their music at high volumes. Tinnitus will frequently be the outcome if you do this frequently.
  • Traffic: Traffic in heavily populated areas can be a lot louder than you may 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 result in hearing damage, including tinnitus.

Hearing damage can happen at a far lower volume than people generally expect. For this reason, hearing protection should be utilized at lower volumes than you may expect. Noise induced tinnitus symptoms can frequently be avoided altogether by doing this.

What should I do if I’m experiencing tinnitus?

Will tinnitus clear up on its own? Perhaps, in some cases. But your symptoms might be irreversible in some instances. Initially, it’s basically impossible to tell which is which. If you have tinnitus because of noise damage, even if your tinnitus does clear up, your risk of having your tinnitus come back and become chronic is much more likely.

Individuals tend to underestimate the minimum volume that damage begins to occur, which is the most significant contributing factor to its development. Damage has most likely already happened if you’re experiencing tinnitus. This means that there are a number of things that you should do to change your environment so as to prevent more permanent damage.

Here are some tips you can try:

  • Limiting the amount of time you spend in noisy environments without giving your ears a chance to recover.
  • Prevent damage by using hearing protection like earplugs or earmuffs. Noise canceling headphones can also be a benefit in this regard.
  • If possible, try to decrease environmental volume. For instance, you could close the windows if you live in a loud area or turn off industrial equipment that isn’t in use.

Dealing with symptoms

Many people who experience persistent tinnitus find the symptoms to be enormously disruptive and unpleasant. As a result, they frequently ask: how do you quiet tinnitus?

If you hear a ringing or buzzing sound, it’s essential to schedule an appointment, especially if the sound doesn’t go away. We can help you figure out the best way to handle your particular situation. For the majority of cases of chronic tinnitus, there’s no cure. Here are a number of ways to manage the symptoms:

  • Relaxation techniques: Tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be aggravated by high blood pressure. So taking a little time to relax (with meditation, for instance) can sometimes help diminish your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Hearing aid: The ringing or buzzing produced by tinnitus can be drowned out by amplifying the volume of external sounds with hearing aids.
  • White noise devices: In some instances, you can tune out some of your tinnitus symptoms by using a white noise generator around your home.
  • Masking device: This is a device that fits similarly to a hearing aid and plays sounds that mask your symptoms. Your device will be specially calibrated to mask your symptoms of tinnitus.
  • Retraining therapy: You can sometimes retrain your ears with the help of a specialist, which will slowly retrain the way you process sound.

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

But tinnitus can be managed and treated. We’ll be able to formulate a specific treatment plan based on your hearing, your tinnitus, and your lifestyle. For some, dealing with your tinnitus might simply mean using a white noise machine. In other cases, a more intensive approach may be needed.

Learn how to best control 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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