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

It isn’t unusual for people to have ringing in their ears, also called tinnitus. Some estimates indicate that 10 percent of people experience tinnitus at one time or another, making it one of the most common health conditions in the world. The condition is experienced as a sound in the ear that isn’t actually there, typically, it’s a buzzing or ringing, but tinnitus can take the form of other sounds as well.

While the prevalence of tinnitus might be obvious, the causes are often more opaque. In part, that’s because tinnitus could be caused by a wide array of causes, some of which are temporary and others that can be more long lasting.

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 doing damage to your ears. This environmental tinnitus may sometimes be permanent or it may sometimes react to changes to make your environment quieter.

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

Tinnitus is a condition in which you hear a noise that isn’t actually there. For the majority of people, tinnitus manifests as a buzzing or ringing, but it may perhaps also present as rumbling, humming, screeching, or other noises as well. Typically, the sounds are consistent or rhythmic. For the majority of individuals, tinnitus will manifest over a short period of time before solving itself and vanishing. 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 play a role in tinnitus are also relatively common (more on that in a bit). Root conditions and injuries can contribute to tinnitus symptoms and that accounts for the second reason. In other words, there are lots of such injuries or conditions that can cause tinnitus. Tinnitus is rather common for these reasons.

How can the environment impact tinnitus?

Other things can also trigger tinnitus, including ototoxic medicines and chemicals. However, when most people discuss “environment” in terms of tinnitus, they actually mean the noise. Some locations, such as noisy city streets, can get quite loud. Somebody would be at risk of environmental tinnitus, for instance, if they worked around loud industrial equipment.

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

Noise related damage, as with hearing loss, can cause tinnitus symptoms. In these circumstances, the resulting tinnitus tends to be chronic in nature. Some of the most prevalent noise and environment-related causes of tinnitus include the following:

  • Music: Many individuals will often listen to their music at loud volumes. Tinnitus will often be the outcome if you do this regularly.
  • Noise in the workplace: Many 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 lots 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-period. For example, attending a concert or using firearms can both lead to tinnitus if the volumes get to a high enough level.
  • Traffic: You might not even recognize how loud traffic can be in densely populated locations. And noise damage can occur at a lower volume than you might expect. Long commutes or regular driving in these noisy environments can eventually cause hearing damage, including tinnitus.

People often mistakenly think hearing damage will only occur at extreme volume levels. As a result, it’s essential to use hearing protection before you think you may need it. Hearing protection can help you avoid tinnitus symptoms from developing in the first place.

If I have tinnitus, what should I do?

Will tinnitus clear up on its own? Maybe, in some instances. But your symptoms might be irreversible in some instances. At first, it’s basically impossible to know which is which. Likewise, just because your tinnitus has gone away for now doesn’t mean that noise damage has not occurred, leading to an increased risk of chronic tinnitus down the road.

One of the most significant contributing factors to the development of tinnitus is that individuals tend to underestimate the volume at which damage happens to their ears. Damage has probably already happened if you’re experiencing tinnitus. If this is the situation, identifying and changing the source of the noise damage is crucial to prevent further damage.

For instance, you could try:

  • Wearing hearing protection (either earplugs or earmuffs) in order to counter damage. Noise canceling headphones can also be an asset in this regard.
  • Lowering the volume of your environment when possible. If you have any machinery that’s not in use, turn it off, and close the windows if it’s noisy outside, for instance.
  • Decreasing the amount of time you spend in loud environments without giving your ears a chance to recover.

How to manage your symptoms

The symptoms of tinnitus are often a huge distraction and are quite uncomfortable for most people who deal with them. As a result, they frequently ask: how do you quiet tinnitus?

You should call us for an appointment if you’re hearing a persistent ringing or buzzing in your ears. We will be able to evaluate your symptoms and determine how to best deal with them. There’s no cure for the majority of forms of chronic tinnitus. Here are a number of ways to manage the symptoms:

  • Masking device: This device is similar to a hearing aid, only instead of amplifying sounds, it masks them. The precise calibration of your device will depend on your particular symptoms.
  • Hearing aid: This can help amplify outside sounds and, as a result, drown out the ringing or buzzing created by tinnitus.
  • Relaxation techniques: High blood pressure has sometimes been associated with an increase in the intensity of tinnitus symptoms. Your tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be alleviated by utilizing relaxation techniques like meditation, for example.
  • Retraining therapy: In some cases, you can work with a specialist to retrain your ears, gradually changing the way you process sound.
  • White noise devices: Using a white noise device around your home can help you tune out your tinnitus in some cases.

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

But tinnitus can be addressed and managed. Depending on your lifestyle, your hearing, and your tinnitus, we’ll be able to develop a specific treatment plan for you. A white noise machine, for many, might be all that’s necessary. In other situations, a more intensive approach may be needed.

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

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Why Are My Ears Ringing?

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.