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. It’s one of the most prevalent health conditions in the world with some estimates suggesting that up to 10 percent of the population experiences it at one time or another. Even though 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 prevalence of tinnitus might be evident, the causes are often more opaque. In part, that’s because tinnitus could result from a wide array of causes, some of which are temporary and others that can be more permanent.

That’s why your environment can be very important. After all, every setting has a soundscape, and when that soundscape is loud, you might be causing damage to your ears. This environmental tinnitus may sometimes be long lasting or it may sometimes respond to changes to make your environment quieter.

Why do so many people experience tinnitus?

When you hear sounds that aren’t actually there, that’s tinnitus. For most individuals, tinnitus manifests as a buzzing or ringing, but it might also present as thumping, humming, screeching, or other sounds as well. Usually, the sounds are constant or rhythmic. Tinnitus will typically clear itself up after a short time period. In less common cases, tinnitus may become effectively permanent, a condition referred to as chronic tinnitus.

Tinnitus is so prevalent for a couple of reasons. Firstly, environmental factors that can play a role in tinnitus are rather prevalent. Underlying conditions and injuries can bring about tinnitus symptoms and that accounts for the second reason. In other words, there are lots of 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 produce tinnitus, including ototoxic medications and chemicals. But when it involves “environmental” triggers, noise is the biggest offender. 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 incredibly significant when considering your hearing health.

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

  • Traffic: You may not even recognize how loud traffic can be in densely populated locations. And noise damage can happen at a lower volume than you might expect. Tinnitus and hearing damage can be the outcome of long commutes in these loud locations.
  • Events: If noise is loud enough, even over short intervals, tinnitus can sometimes be the result. For example, going to a concert or using firearms can both lead to tinnitus if the volumes reach a loud enough level.
  • Music: Listening to music at loud volumes is a fairly common practice. Doing this on a consistent basis can frequently result in tinnitus symptoms.
  • Noise in the workplace: It could come as a surprise that many workplaces, sometimes even offices, are fairly loud. 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.

Damage to the ears can happen at a far lower volume than people usually expect. Consequently, it’s essential to use hearing protection before you think you may need it. Noise related tinnitus symptoms can frequently be avoided altogether by doing this.

If I have tinnitus, what should I do?

So, does tinnitus go away? Well, in some instances it could. But your symptoms may be irreversible in some cases. Initially, it’s basically impossible to tell which is which. Moreover, just because your tinnitus has gone away for now doesn’t mean that noise damage has not happened, leading to an increased risk of chronic tinnitus down the road.

People tend to underestimate the minimum volume that damage begins to occur, which is the most significant contributing factor to its advancement. If you experience tinnitus, your body is telling you that damage has already probably occurred. If this is the situation, identifying and changing the source of the noise damage is crucial to prevent further damage.

Here are a few tips you can try:

  • If you’re in a loud setting, regulate the amount of exposure time and give your ears breaks.
  • Wearing hearing protection (either earplugs or earmuffs) in order to counter damage. You can also get some amount of protection from noise canceling headphones.
  • If possible, try to decrease environmental volume. If you have any machinery that’s not in use, turn it off, and close the windows if it’s noisy outside, for instance.

How to deal with your symptoms

Many individuals who experience chronic tinnitus find the symptoms to be tremendously disruptive and uncomfortable. Because of this, they often ask: how do you calm tinnitus?

You should call us for an appointment if you are hearing a persistent buzzing or ringing in your ears. We can help you figure out the best way to regulate your particular situation. For most cases of chronic tinnitus, there’s no cure. Here are a number of ways to manage the symptoms:

  • Hearing aid: The ringing or buzzing produced by tinnitus can be drowned out by boosting the volume of outside sounds with hearing aids.
  • Relaxation techniques: Tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be aggravated by high blood pressure. Your tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be alleviated by using relaxation techniques like meditation, for instance.
  • Retraining therapy: In some situations, you can work with a specialist to retrain your ears, gradually modifying the way you process sound.
  • Masking device: This is a device that fits similarly to a hearing aid and plays sounds that mask your symptoms. The exact calibration of your device will depend on your particular 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.

There’s no cure for tinnitus. That’s why controlling your environment to protect your hearing is a practical first step.

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 people, dealing with your tinnitus may simply mean using a white noise machine. For other people, management might be more demanding.

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.