North Richland Hills, TX

North Richland Hills and Grand Prairie, TX

North Richland Hills and Grand Prairie, TX

Is Your Tinnitus Being Caused by Your Environment?

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

Tinnitus is an exceptionally common condition of the ear. Some estimates suggest that 10 percent of people experience tinnitus at one point or another, making it one of the most prevalent health conditions in the world. 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 obvious, the causes are frequently more cloudy. 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 might be causing damage to your ears. If your tinnitus is caused by damage, it could end up being permanent.

Why do so many people experience tinnitus?

When you hear sounds that aren’t really there, that’s tinnitus. Tinnitus typically manifests as a ringing or buzzing, but can also manifest as other noises, like screeching, thumping, or humming. Typically, the sounds are consistent or rhythmic. For most individuals, tinnitus will occur over a short period of time before resolving itself and going away. Though not as common, chronic tinnitus is effectively permanent.

There are a couple of reasons why tinnitus is so common. Firstly, environmental factors that can play a role in tinnitus are quite prevalent. Root conditions and injuries can contribute to tinnitus symptoms and that accounts for the second reason. And there are a wide variety of conditions and injuries that can trigger tinnitus. Tinnitus is quite prevalent for these reasons.

How is tinnitus affected by environmental factors?

Other things can also cause tinnitus, including ototoxic medicines and chemicals. But when it involves “environmental” triggers, noise is the biggest culprit. For example, some locations are noisier than others (traffic noise in some areas can get extremely high). Likewise, anybody who works around industrial equipment all day would be at risk of their environment worsening their tinnitus.

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

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

  • Traffic: You may not even realize how loud traffic can be in heavily populated places. And you might not even recognize that your ears can be damaged at lower volumes than you may expect. Long commutes or consistent driving in these noisy environments can eventually cause hearing damage, including tinnitus.
  • Noise in the workplace: It might come as a surprise that lots of workplaces, sometimes even offices, are pretty loud. Whether it’s industrial equipment or chatty office neighbors, spending eight hours a day around continuous workplace noise can eventually lead to tinnitus.
  • Music: Listening to music at loud volumes is a pretty common practice. Doing this on a regular basis can often result in tinnitus symptoms.
  • Events: If noise is loud enough, even over short stretches, tinnitus can sometimes be the result. Shooting a gun or going to a rock concert are examples of this kind of noise.

Hearing damage can happen at a far lower volume than people generally expect. Because of this, hearing protection should be utilized at lower volumes than you might expect. Hearing protection can help you avoid tinnitus symptoms from developing in the first place.

What should I do if I have tinnitus?

Will tinnitus clear up by itself? Perhaps, in some cases. But your symptoms may be permanent in some cases. At first, it’s basically impossible to tell which is which. Moreover, just because your tinnitus has reseeded doesn’t mean that noise damage hasn’t occurred, leading to an increased chance of chronic tinnitus down the road.

People often underestimate the minimum volume that damage begins to happen, which is the most significant contributing factor to its development. 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 possible, try to lower environmental volume. For example, you could shut the windows if you live in a loud area or turn off industrial machinery that is not in use.
  • Reducing the amount of time you spend in noisy environments without giving your ears a chance to recuperate.
  • Wearing hearing protection (either earplugs or earmuffs) in order to prevent damage. You can also get some degree of protection from noise canceling headphones.

Managing symptoms

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

You should give us a call for an appointment if you are hearing a persistent buzzing or ringing in your ears. We will be able to evaluate your symptoms and identify how best to deal with them. For most cases of chronic tinnitus, there’s no cure. Here are a number of ways to manage the symptoms:

  • Relaxation techniques: Tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be exacerbated by high blood pressure. Your tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be eased by utilizing relaxation techniques like meditation, for example.
  • Hearing aid: This can help amplify outside sounds and, as a result, drown out the ringing or buzzing created by tinnitus.
  • White noise devices: In some cases, you can tune out some of your tinnitus symptoms by using a white noise generator around your home.
  • Retraining therapy: You can sometimes retrain your ears with the assistance of a specialist, which will gradually retrain 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. Your device will be specifically calibrated to mask your symptoms of tinnitus.

Tinnitus has no cure. That’s why managing your environment to safeguard your hearing is a great first step.

But addressing and managing tinnitus is possible. We’ll be able to formulate a specific treatment plan according to your hearing, your tinnitus, and your lifestyle. A white noise machine, for many, may be all that’s necessary. In other situations, a more intensive approach may be necessary.

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


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.

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