Is Your Environment The Source of Your Tinnitus?


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

Tinnitus is an extremely 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 time or another. The condition is experienced as a sound in the ear that isn’t really there, normally, it’s a buzzing or ringing, but tinnitus can manifest as other sounds too.

While the preponderance of tinnitus might be obvious, the causes are often more opaque. Some of the wide range of tinnitus causes are temporary, while others can be more long term.

This is why environmental factors can play a major role in tinnitus symptoms. If the background sound of your particular environment is very loud, you could 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 common)?

When you hear noises that aren’t actually there, that’s tinnitus. For most individuals, tinnitus manifests as a ringing or buzzing, but it may perhaps also present as rumbling, humming, screeching, or other sounds as well. The sounds are normally rhythmic in nature. For most people, tinnitus will occur over a short period of time before resolving itself and vanishing. In less common cases, tinnitus could become effectively permanent, a condition referred to as chronic tinnitus.

Tinnitus is so common for a couple of reasons. Firstly, environmental factors that can contribute to tinnitus are fairly common. The second reason is that tinnitus is frequently a symptom of an underlying condition or injury. In other words, there are many such injuries or conditions that can trigger tinnitus. Tinnitus is quite common for these reasons.

How can the environment impact tinnitus?

There are a large number of factors that can bring about tinnitus symptoms, including ototoxic chemicals and medications. However, when the majority of individuals talk about “environment” in terms of tinnitus, they really mean the noise. Some locations, such as noisy city streets, can get very loud. Likewise, anyone who works around industrial equipment all day would be at risk of their environment exacerbating their tinnitus.

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

Noise induced damage, as with hearing loss, can trigger tinnitus symptoms. When tinnitus is due to noise damage, it’s normally chronic and often permanent. Here are a few of the most common noise-related causes of tinnitus:

  • Events: If noise is loud enough, even over short intervals, tinnitus can sometimes be the outcome. Firing a gun or going to a rock concert are examples of this type of noise.
  • Music: Listening to music at loud volumes is a pretty common practice. Tinnitus will often be the outcome if you do this frequently.
  • Traffic: You might not even realize how loud traffic can be in heavily populated locations. And you might not even recognize that your ears can be damaged at lower volumes than you might expect. Tinnitus and hearing damage can be the result of long commutes in these noisy locations.
  • Noise in the workplace: Many workplaces, including offices, are frequently the source of loud noises. Tinnitus can eventually result from being in these places for eight hours a day, whether it’s industrial equipment or the din of lots of people talking in an office.

Hearing damage can occur at a far lower volume than people usually expect. Because of this, hearing protection should be utilized at lower volumes than you may expect. Noise induced tinnitus symptoms can frequently be avoided altogether by doing this.

What should I do if I’m experiencing tinnitus?

Will tinnitus clear up by itself? Perhaps, in some instances. In other situations, your symptoms may be irreversible. There’s no way to tell which is which at the beginning. If you have tinnitus because of noise damage, even if your tinnitus does go away, your chance of having your tinnitus come back and become chronic is a lot more likely.

One of the most significant contributing factors to the development of tinnitus is that people tend to underestimate the volume at which damage occurs to their ears. Damage has probably already occurred 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:

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

How to handle your symptoms

Many people who experience chronic tinnitus find the symptoms to be tremendously distracting and unpleasant. As a result, 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 specific situation. There’s no cure for the majority of forms of chronic tinnitus. Symptom management might include the following:

  • Hearing aid: The ringing or buzzing created by tinnitus can be drowned out by amplifying the volume of external sounds with hearing aids.
  • Masking device: This device is a lot like a hearing aid, only instead of boosting sounds, it masks them. Your device will be specially calibrated to mask your symptoms of tinnitus.
  • Relaxation techniques: High blood pressure has sometimes been linked to an increase in the severity of tinnitus symptoms. Your tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be eased by utilizing relaxation techniques like meditation, for example.
  • White noise devices: In some instances, you can tune out some of your tinnitus symptoms by utilizing a white noise generator around your home.
  • Retraining therapy: In some cases, you can work with a specialist to retrain your ears, slowly modifying the way you process sound.

There’s no cure for tinnitus. A good first step would be to protect your hearing by controlling your environment.

But addressing 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. For some people, managing your tinnitus may simply mean utilizing a white noise machine. In other situations, a more intensive approach may be needed.

Schedule an appointment to learn 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 or Text Us