Is Your Environment The Cause of Your Tinnitus?

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

It isn’t uncommon for individuals to have ringing in their ears, also called tinnitus. 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 point or another. The condition is experienced as a sound in the ear that isn’t really there, typically, it’s a buzzing or ringing, but tinnitus can take the form of other sounds also.

While the prevalence of tinnitus may be evident, the causes are often more cloudy. In part, that’s because tinnitus may 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. If the background sound of your particular environment is very noisy, you may be damaging your hearing. This environmental tinnitus might sometimes be permanent or it might sometimes respond to changes to make your environment quieter.

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

Tinnitus is a condition in which you hear a sound that isn’t really there. For the majority of people, tinnitus manifests as a buzzing or ringing, but it may also present as thumping, humming, screeching, or other sounds as well. Typically, the sounds are constant or rhythmic. For the majority of people, tinnitus will happen over a short period of time before resolving itself and going away. Though not as common, chronic tinnitus is effectively permanent.

Tinnitus is so common for a couple of reasons. Firstly, environmental factors that can contribute to tinnitus are rather prevalent. Underlying conditions and injuries can bring about tinnitus symptoms and that accounts for the second reason. And there are lots of conditions and injuries that can result in tinnitus. Tinnitus is rather prevalent for these reasons.

How is tinnitus impacted by environmental factors?

Other things can also cause tinnitus, including ototoxic medications and chemicals. However, when most people discuss “environment” in terms of tinnitus, they actually mean the noise. For instance, some neighborhoods are louder than others (traffic noise in some areas can get extraordinarily high). Likewise, anybody who works around industrial equipment all day would be at risk of their environment exacerbating their tinnitus.

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

Noise related damage, as with hearing loss, can activate tinnitus symptoms. When tinnitus is a result of noise damage, it’s typically chronic and frequently permanent. Here are some of the most common noise-related causes of tinnitus:

  • Music: Many people will often listen to their music at loud volumes. Tinnitus will often be the result if you do this regularly.
  • Events: If noise is loud enough, even over short intervals, tinnitus can sometimes be the result. Firing a gun or going to a rock concert are instances of this kind of noise.
  • Traffic: Traffic in heavily populated areas can be a lot louder than you may expect it to be. And noise damage can happen at a lower volume than you may expect. Tinnitus and hearing damage can be the outcome of long commutes in these noisy locations.
  • Noise in the workplace: Many workplaces, including offices, are frequently the source of loud noises. Whether it’s industrial equipment or gabby office neighbors, spending eight hours a day around constant workplace noise can eventually result in tinnitus.

Damage to the ears can happen at a far lower volume than people usually expect. For this reason, hearing protection should be utilized at lower volumes than you might expect. Noise related tinnitus symptoms can often 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 may. But your symptoms may be irreversible in some cases. There’s no way to identify which is which at the outset. 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 a lot more probable.

One of the most main contributing factors to the advancement of tinnitus is that individuals tend to underestimate the volume at which damage occurs to their ears. Damage has probably already occurred if you’re experiencing tinnitus. If this is the case, identifying and changing the source of the noise damage is essential to prevent further damage.

For instance, you could try:

  • Reducing the amount of time you spend in loud environments without giving your ears a chance to recuperate.
  • Reducing the volume of your environment where possible. If you have any machinery that’s not in use, turn it off, and shut the windows if it’s noisy outside, for example.
  • Prevent damage by utilizing hearing protection like earplugs or earmuffs. Noise canceling headphones can also be a benefit in this regard.

Dealing with symptoms

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

You should contact us for an appointment if you’re hearing a persistent buzzing or ringing in your ears. We will be able to assess your symptoms and determine how to best deal with them. For the majority of cases of chronic tinnitus, there’s no cure. Here are a few ways to manage the 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: This can help amplify other sounds and, as a result, drown out the ringing or buzzing created by tinnitus.
  • White noise devices: Using a white noise device around your house can help you tune out your tinnitus in some cases.
  • Relaxation techniques: High blood pressure has sometimes been linked to an increase in the intensity of tinnitus symptoms. Your tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be eased by using relaxation techniques like meditation, for instance.
  • Masking device: This device is a lot like a hearing aid, but instead of boosting sounds, it masks them. The precise calibration of your device will depend on your specific symptoms.

Tinnitus is not curable. That’s why controlling your environment to safeguard your hearing is a great first step.

But treating and controlling tinnitus is possible. 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 required. For others, management may be more intense.

Learn how to best control 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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