Is Your Tinnitus Stemming From Your Environment?

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 experience tinnitus at one point or another, making it one of the most prevalent health conditions in the world. Although the most common manifestation of tinnitus is a phantom ringing or buzzing in your ear, it can also present as other sounds too.

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

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

Why do so many people experience tinnitus?

When you hear sounds that aren’t actually present, that’s tinnitus. For most individuals, 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 typically rhythmic in nature. Tinnitus will usually clear itself up after a short time period. Though not as common, chronic tinnitus is effectively permanent.

Tinnitus is so prevalent for a couple of reasons. Firstly, environmental factors that can contribute to tinnitus are quite prevalent. The second reason is that tinnitus is usually a symptom of a root condition or injury. Put simply, there are lots of such injuries or conditions that can cause tinnitus. Tinnitus is rather prevalent for these reasons.

How can the environment impact tinnitus?

Other things can also trigger tinnitus, including ototoxic medicines and chemicals. However, when the majority of people discuss “environment” when it comes to tinnitus, they actually mean the noise. Some settings, such as noisy city streets, can get quite loud. Someone would be at risk of environmental tinnitus, for example, if they worked around loud industrial equipment.

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

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

  • Traffic: Traffic in densely populated places can be a lot louder than you might expect it to be. And noise damage can occur at a lower volume than you may expect. Long commutes or consistent driving in these loud settings can eventually result in hearing damage, including tinnitus.
  • Music: Many people will often listen to their music at high volumes. Tinnitus will often be the outcome if you do this regularly.
  • 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.
  • 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 lots of people talking in an office.

People frequently mistakenly think hearing damage will only happen at extreme volume levels. Because of this, hearing protection should be used at lower volumes than you might expect. Hearing protection can help you avoid tinnitus symptoms from developing in the first place.

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

Will tinnitus clear up by itself? Perhaps, in some instances. In other cases, your symptoms may be irreversible. There’s no way to identify which is which at the beginning. If you have tinnitus due to noise damage, even if your tinnitus does go away, your chance of having your tinnitus return and become chronic is a lot more probable.

People tend to 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 occurred. This means that there are a number of things that you should do to alter your environment so as to prevent more permanent damage.

For instance, you could try:

  • If you’re in a noisy environment, regulate the amount of exposure time and give your ears breaks.
  • If possible, try to decrease environmental volume. For instance, you could close the windows if you live in a noisy area or turn off industrial machinery that isn’t in use.
  • Wearing hearing protection (either earplugs or earmuffs) in order to prevent damage. Noise canceling headphones can also be an asset in this regard.

How to manage your symptoms

Many people who experience chronic tinnitus find the symptoms to be extremely disruptive and uncomfortable. This prompts them to try and find a way to ease the intensity of their symptoms.

If you hear a ringing or buzzing sound, it’s important to make an appointment, particularly if the sound doesn’t go away. We will be able to assess your symptoms and identify how to best deal with them. There’s no cure for most forms of chronic tinnitus. Here are a number of ways to manage the symptoms:

  • Relaxation techniques: High blood pressure has sometimes been associated with an increase in the severity of tinnitus symptoms. So taking a little time to relax (with meditation, for example) can sometimes help diminish your tinnitus symptoms.
  • White noise devices: Utilizing a white noise device around your house can help you tune out your tinnitus in some instances.
  • Masking device: This is a device that fits like a hearing aid and plays sounds to mask your symptoms. The exact calibration of your device will depend on your particular symptoms.
  • Retraining therapy: You can sometimes retrain your ears with the assistance of a specialist, which will slowly 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.

There’s no cure for tinnitus. A good 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, dealing with your tinnitus might simply mean using a white noise machine. In other cases, a more extensive approach may be needed.

Learn how to best manage your tinnitus by making an appointment right away!

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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