Is Your Environment The Cause of Your Tinnitus?

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 indicating 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 actually there, usually, it’s a buzzing or ringing, but tinnitus can take the form of other sounds too.

While the preponderance of tinnitus might be evident, the causes are often more cloudy. Some of the wide variety of tinnitus causes are temporary, while others can be more permanent.

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 harming your hearing. This environmental tinnitus may sometimes be long lasting or it may sometimes react to changes to make your environment quieter.

Why do so many individuals experience tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition that causes you to hear a sound that isn’t actually there. Tinnitus normally manifests as a ringing or buzzing, but can also manifest as other noises, like screeching, thumping, or humming. Normally, the sounds are constant or rhythmic. Tinnitus will normally 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. The first is that the environmental factors that play a role in tinnitus are also quite common (more on that soon). The second reason is that tinnitus is usually a symptom of an underlying condition or injury. And there are quite a few conditions and injuries that can result in tinnitus. As a result, tinnitus tends to be very common.

How can the environment impact tinnitus?

Other things can also produce tinnitus, including ototoxic medicines and chemicals. But when it comes to “environmental” triggers, noise is the biggest culprit. Some settings, such as noisy city streets, can get quite loud. Likewise, anyone who works around industrial equipment all day would be at risk of their environment exacerbating their tinnitus.

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

As with hearing loss, noise-related damage can eventually trigger tinnitus symptoms. When tinnitus is caused by noise damage, it’s normally chronic and often permanent. Some of the most common noise and environment-related causes of tinnitus include the following:

  • Events: Tinnitus can sometimes result from loud noises, even if they aren’t experienced over a long time-period. Shooting a gun or going to a rock concert are instances of this kind of noise.
  • Traffic: You might not even recognize how loud traffic can be in heavily populated locations. And noise damage can occur at a lower volume than you may expect. Tinnitus and hearing damage can be the result of long commutes in these noisy settings.
  • Music: Many individuals will frequently listen to their music at high volumes. Tinnitus will frequently be the result if you do this frequently.
  • Noise in the workplace: It could come as a surprise that many workplaces, sometimes even offices, are fairly noisy. Tinnitus can eventually result from being in these places for eight hours a day, whether it’s industrial equipment or the din of a lot of people talking in an office.

People often mistakenly think damage to their ears will only happen at extreme volume levels. Consequently, it’s crucial 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.

What should I do if I’m experiencing tinnitus?

Will tinnitus clear up on its own? Perhaps, in some instances. But your symptoms may be permanent in some cases. Initially, it’s basically impossible to tell which is which. Moreover, just because your tinnitus has reseeded doesn’t mean that noise damage hasn’t happened, resulting in an increased chance of chronic tinnitus down the road.

Individuals tend to underestimate the minimum volume that damage starts 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 likely occurred. This means that there are several things that you should do to change your environment so as to prevent more irreparable damage.

For example, you could try:

  • Wearing hearing protection (either earplugs or earmuffs) in order to counter damage. Noise canceling headphones can also be a benefit in this regard.
  • Limiting the amount of time you spend in loud environments without giving your ears a chance to recover.
  • If possible, try to decrease environmental volume. For instance, you could shut the windows if you live in a loud area or turn off industrial equipment that isn’t in use.

How to manage your symptoms

The symptoms of tinnitus are often a big distraction and are really unpleasant for the majority of people who deal with them. Because of this, they frequently ask: how do you quiet tinnitus?

If you hear a buzzing or ringing sound, it’s essential to set up an appointment, especially if the sound won’t go away. We can help you determine the best way to address your particular situation. There’s no cure for the majority of types of chronic tinnitus. Here are a number of ways to manage the symptoms:

  • Hearing aid: The ringing or buzzing produced by tinnitus can be drowned out by raising the volume of outside sounds with hearing aids.
  • Masking device: This device is similar to a hearing aid, but instead of amplifying sounds, it masks them. Your device will be specially calibrated to mask your symptoms of tinnitus.
  • Retraining therapy: In some instances, 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 house can help you tune out your tinnitus in some instances.
  • Relaxation techniques: High blood pressure has sometimes been linked to an increase in the intensity of tinnitus symptoms. Your tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be alleviated by utilizing relaxation techniques like meditation, for instance.

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

But tinnitus can be managed and treated. Depending on your lifestyle, your hearing, and your tinnitus, we’ll be able to formulate a specific treatment plan for you. For some people, managing your tinnitus may simply mean utilizing a white noise machine. In other cases, a more intensive 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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