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

Tinnitus is an incredibly common condition of the ear. Some estimates indicate that 10 percent of people have tinnitus at one time 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, usually, it’s a buzzing or ringing, but tinnitus can manifest as other sounds also.

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

That’s why your environment can be critically important. After all, every environment has a soundscape, and when that soundscape is noisy, you may be doing damage to your ears. This environmental tinnitus may sometimes be long lasting or it may sometimes react to changes to make your environment quieter.

Why do so many individuals experience tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition in which you hear a sound that isn’t really there. For most people, tinnitus manifests as a ringing or buzzing, but it may possibly also present as rumbling, humming, screeching, or other sounds as well. The sounds are usually rhythmic in nature. Tinnitus will usually clear itself up after a short time period. 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 soon). Root conditions and injuries can bring about tinnitus symptoms and that accounts for the second reason. Put simply, there are many such injuries or conditions that can trigger tinnitus. Tinnitus is rather prevalent for these reasons.

How can the environment affect tinnitus?

Other things can also cause tinnitus, including ototoxic medications and chemicals. But when it comes to “environmental” triggers, noise is the biggest offender. Some settings, such as noisy city streets, can get quite loud. Likewise, anybody who works around industrial equipment all day would be at risk of their environment worsening their tinnitus.

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

Noise induced damage, as with hearing loss, can activate tinnitus symptoms. In these circumstances, the resulting tinnitus tends to be chronic in nature. Here are a few of the most common noise-related causes of tinnitus:

  • Music: Many people will often listen to their music at loud volumes. Tinnitus will frequently be the outcome if you do this frequently.
  • Events: If noise is loud enough, even over short periods, tinnitus can sometimes be the result. Shooting a gun or going to a rock concert are instances of this kind of noise.
  • Noise in the workplace: Lots of workplaces, including offices, are often 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: Traffic in densely populated areas can be a lot louder than you might expect it to be. And noise damage can happen at a lower volume than you may expect. Tinnitus and hearing damage can be the result of long commutes in these noisy settings.

Damage to the ears can occur at a much lower volume than people generally expect. As a result, it’s important to wear hearing protection before you think you may need it. Noise induced tinnitus symptoms can frequently be avoided altogether by doing this.

If I’m experiencing tinnitus, what should I do?

Will tinnitus go away on its own? Well, in some instances it might. But your symptoms might be irreversible in some cases. There’s no way to know which is which at the beginning. If you have tinnitus caused by noise damage, even if your tinnitus does go away, 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 occur, which is the most significant contributing factor to its advancement. Damage has 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 irreparable damage.

For instance, you could try:

  • If you’re in a noisy environment, limit the amount of exposure time and give your ears rests.
  • If possible, try to lower environmental volume. If you have any machinery that isn’t in use, turn it off, and close the windows if it’s noisy outside, for example.
  • Stop damage by utilizing hearing protection like earplugs or earmuffs. Noise canceling headphones can also be an asset in this regard.

How to manage your symptoms

The symptoms of tinnitus are frequently a big distraction and are really unpleasant 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.

If you hear a ringing or buzzing sound, it’s essential to schedule an appointment, especially if the sound won’t go away. We can help you determine the best way to regulate your particular situation. There’s no cure for the majority of types of chronic tinnitus. Here are a few ways to manage the symptoms:

  • Retraining therapy: In some situations, you can work with a specialist to retrain your ears, slowly changing the way you process sound.
  • Relaxation techniques: High blood pressure has sometimes been associated with an increase in the intensity of tinnitus symptoms. So taking some time to relax (with meditation, for instance) can sometimes help reduce your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Masking device: This device is similar to a hearing aid, only instead of amplifying sounds, it masks them. The exact calibration of your device will depend on your specific symptoms.
  • White noise devices: Using a white noise device around your house can help you tune out your tinnitus in some instances.
  • Hearing aid: The ringing or buzzing produced by tinnitus can be drowned out by boosting the volume of outside sounds with hearing aids.

Tinnitus has no cure. A good first step would be to protect your hearing by controlling your environment.

But addressing and managing tinnitus is possible. We’ll be able to develop a specific treatment plan according to your hearing, your tinnitus, and your lifestyle. A white noise machine, for many people, may be all that’s necessary. For others, management might be more intense.

Make an appointment to learn 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 Us Today