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

Tinnitus is an incredibly common condition of the ear. Some estimates suggest that 10 percent of people have tinnitus at one point or another, making it one of the most prevalent health conditions in the world. 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 too.

Unfortunately, the causes of tinnitus aren’t as evident as the symptoms. 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 environment has a soundscape, and when that soundscape is noisy, you may be causing damage to your ears. This environmental tinnitus may sometimes be long lasting or it might sometimes react to changes to make your environment quieter.

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

When you hear noises that aren’t really there, that’s tinnitus. For most individuals, tinnitus manifests as a buzzing or ringing, but it may possibly also present as rumbling, humming, screeching, or other sounds as well. Typically, the sounds are steady or rhythmic. Tinnitus will typically 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 common. The first is that the environmental factors that contribute to tinnitus are also quite common (more on that in a bit). The second reason is that tinnitus is frequently a symptom of a root condition or injury. Put simply, there are many such injuries or conditions that can cause tinnitus. Tinnitus is rather common for these reasons.

How is tinnitus affected by environmental factors?

Other things can also produce tinnitus, including ototoxic medicines and chemicals. However, when the majority of people talk about “environment” in terms of tinnitus, they really mean the noise. Some locations, such as noisy city streets, can get very loud. Somebody would be in danger of environmental tinnitus, for example, if they worked around loud industrial equipment.

When assessing the state of your health, these environmental factors are very significant.

Noise induced damage, as with hearing loss, can cause tinnitus symptoms. In these cases, the resulting tinnitus is often chronic in nature. Some of the most prevalent noise and environment-induced causes of tinnitus include the following:

  • Traffic: You may not even recognize how loud traffic can be in heavily populated places. And noise damage can occur at a lower volume than you may expect. Tinnitus and hearing damage can be the result of long commutes in these noisy locations.
  • Noise in the workplace: It could come as a surprise that lots of workplaces, sometimes even offices, are fairly loud. 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.
  • Events: Tinnitus can sometimes be caused by loud noises, even if they aren’t experienced over a long time-frame. Firing a gun or going to a rock concert are examples of this type of noise.
  • Music: Many individuals will frequently listen to their music at high volumes. Doing this on a regular basis can frequently trigger tinnitus symptoms.

People frequently mistakenly believe damage to their ears will only occur at extreme volume levels. As a result, it’s essential to wear hearing protection before you think you may need it. Noise associated tinnitus symptoms can often be avoided altogether by doing this.

What should I do if I have tinnitus?

So, does tinnitus go away? Maybe, in some instances. But your symptoms might be permanent in some cases. There’s no way to know which is which at the beginning. If you have tinnitus because of noise damage, even if your tinnitus does clear up, your chance of having your tinnitus come back and become chronic is much more likely.

Individuals often underestimate the minimum volume that damage begins to happen, which is the most significant contributing factor to its development. If you experience tinnitus, your body is telling you that damage has already probably happened. If this is the case, finding and changing the source of the noise damage is crucial to prevent further damage.

For example, you could try:

  • Reducing the volume of your environment when possible. For instance, you could shut the windows if you live in a noisy area or turn off industrial equipment that isn’t in use.
  • If you’re in a noisy setting, limit the amount of exposure time and give your ears breaks.
  • Using hearing protection (either earplugs or earmuffs) in order to counter damage. You can also get some amount of protection from noise canceling headphones.

Managing symptoms

The symptoms of tinnitus are often a big distraction and are really uncomfortable for the majority of individuals who deal with them. This prompts them to attempt to find a way to ease the intensity of their symptoms.

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

  • White noise devices: In some instances, you can tune out some of your tinnitus symptoms by utilizing a white noise generator around your home.
  • Hearing aid: This can help amplify outside sounds and, as a result, drown out the ringing or buzzing produced by tinnitus.
  • Retraining therapy: In some cases, you can work with a specialist to retrain your ears, gradually modifying the way you process sound.
  • Relaxation techniques: Tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be exacerbated by high blood pressure. So taking some time to relax (with meditation, for example) can sometimes help decrease your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Masking device: This is a device that fits similarly to a hearing aid and plays sounds to mask your symptoms. The precise calibration of your device will depend on your particular symptoms.

Tinnitus is not curable. A good first step would be to protect your hearing by controlling your environment.

But treating and managing tinnitus is possible. Depending on your lifestyle, your hearing, and your tinnitus, we’ll be able to develop a specific treatment plan for you. For some people, managing your tinnitus might simply mean using a white noise machine. For other people, management may be more intense.

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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