Call or Text Us! 734-430-8520
Monroe Hearing Center - Monroe, MI

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 common health conditions in the world with some estimates suggesting that up to 10 percent of the population experiences it at one point 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 frequently more cloudy. In part, that’s because tinnitus may be caused by a wide variety of causes, some of which are temporary and others that can be more permanent.

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

Why do so many people experience tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition in which you hear a noise that isn’t actually there. Tinnitus usually manifests as a ringing or buzzing, but can also manifest as other sounds, like screeching, thumping, or humming. The sounds are usually rhythmic in nature. For the majority of people, tinnitus will happen over a short period of time before solving itself and going away. In less common cases, tinnitus might become effectively permanent, a condition referred to as chronic tinnitus.

Tinnitus is so common for a couple of reasons. Firstly, environmental factors that can play a role in tinnitus are quite common. Root conditions and injuries can bring about tinnitus symptoms and that accounts for the second reason. And there are quite a few conditions and injuries that can result in tinnitus. Consequently, tinnitus tends to be very common.

How can the environment impact tinnitus?

There are a large number of factors that can bring about tinnitus symptoms, including ototoxic chemicals and medicines. But when it involves “environmental” triggers, noise is the biggest offender. Some locations, such as noisy city streets, can get quite loud. Someone would be in danger of environmental tinnitus, for example, if they worked around loud industrial equipment.

When evaluating the state of your health, these environmental factors are extremely important.

As with hearing loss, noise-associated damage can eventually cause tinnitus symptoms. In these situations, the resulting tinnitus is often chronic in nature. Here are a few of the most common noise-related causes of tinnitus:

  • Traffic: Traffic in densely populated areas can be a lot louder than you might expect it to be. And you may not even recognize that your ears can be damaged at lower volumes than you might expect. Long commutes or regular driving in these loud environments can eventually cause hearing damage, including tinnitus.
  • Events: If noise is loud enough, even over short periods, tinnitus can sometimes be the outcome. Shooting a gun or going to a rock concert are examples of this kind of noise.
  • Music: Many individuals will often listen to their music at loud volumes. Doing this on a regular basis can often trigger tinnitus symptoms.
  • Noise in the workplace: It might come as a surprise that many 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.

Damage to the ears can occur at a far lower volume than people usually expect. Consequently, it’s crucial to wear hearing protection before you think you might 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 resolve? Well, in some instances it could. But your symptoms may be irreversible in some cases. There’s no way to know which is which at the beginning. If you have tinnitus due to noise damage, even if your tinnitus does clear up, your risk of having your tinnitus return and become chronic is a lot more probable.

People tend to underestimate the minimum volume that damage starts 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 alter your environment so as to prevent more irreparable damage.

Here are a few tips you can try:

  • Decreasing 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 example.
  • Stop damage by using hearing protection like earplugs or earmuffs. You can also get some amount of protection from noise canceling headphones.
  • If you’re in a loud environment, limit the amount of exposure time and give your ears breaks.

Dealing with symptoms

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

If you hear a buzzing or ringing sound, it’s important to set up an appointment, particularly if the sound doesn’t go away. We will be able to assess your symptoms and figure out how to best manage them. There’s no cure for the majority of forms of chronic tinnitus. Symptom management might include the following:

  • Hearing aid: The ringing or buzzing produced by tinnitus can be drowned out by raising the volume of outside sounds with hearing aids.
  • Retraining therapy: In some instances, you can work with a specialist to retrain your ears, gradually changing the way you process sound.
  • Masking device: This is a device that fits similarly to a hearing aid and plays sounds to mask your symptoms. The precise calibration of your device will depend on your specific symptoms.
  • White noise devices: In some cases, you can tune out some of your tinnitus symptoms by utilizing a white noise generator around your home.
  • Relaxation techniques: Tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be worsened by high blood pressure. So taking a little time to relax (with meditation, for example) can sometimes help reduce your tinnitus symptoms.

Tinnitus is not curable. A good first step would be to protect your hearing by managing your environment.

But tinnitus can be managed and treated. We’ll be able to establish a specific treatment plan based on your hearing, your tinnitus, and your lifestyle. For some people, dealing with your tinnitus might simply mean using a white noise machine. For others, management might be more intense.

Make an appointment to find out how to regulate your tinnitus symptoms.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

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.
Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today