Is Your Environment The Cause of Your Tinnitus?

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

Tinnitus is an extremely common condition of the ear. Some estimates suggest that 10 percent of people experience tinnitus at one time or another, making it one of the most prevalent health conditions in the world. The condition manifests as a sound in the ear that isn’t really there, typically, it’s a buzzing or ringing, but tinnitus can manifest as other sounds also.

While the prevalence of tinnitus may be obvious, the causes are often more cloudy. In part, that’s because tinnitus may result from a wide variety of causes, some of which are temporary and others that can be more permanent.

That’s why your environment can be very important. If the background sound of your particular setting is very noisy, you could be harming your hearing. If your tinnitus is a result of damage, it may end up being permanent.

Why do so many individuals experience tinnitus?

When you hear sounds that aren’t really present, that’s tinnitus. For the majority of individuals, tinnitus manifests as a buzzing or ringing, but it might also present as rumbling, humming, screeching, or other noises as well. The sounds are normally rhythmic in nature. 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 contribute to tinnitus are also relatively common (more on that soon). The second reason is that tinnitus is frequently a symptom of an underlying condition or injury. And there are quite a few conditions and injuries that can trigger 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. However, when the majority of individuals discuss “environment” when it comes to tinnitus, they really mean the noise. For instance, some locations are louder 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.

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

Noise induced damage, as with hearing loss, can cause tinnitus symptoms. When tinnitus is a result of noise damage, it’s usually chronic and often permanent. Some of the most prevalent 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-frame. Shooting a gun or going to a rock concert are instances of this type of noise.
  • Music: Listening to music at high volumes is a fairly common practice. Doing this on a consistent basis can frequently result in tinnitus symptoms.
  • Traffic: Traffic in heavily populated locations can be much louder than you might expect it to be. And noise damage can happen at a lower volume than you may expect. Long commutes or consistent driving in these noisy settings can eventually result in hearing damage, including tinnitus.
  • Noise in the workplace: It could come as a surprise that many workplaces, sometimes even offices, are fairly loud. Whether it’s industrial equipment or gabby office neighbors, spending eight hours a day around continuous workplace noise can eventually result in tinnitus.

People often wrongly believe hearing damage will only occur at extreme volume levels. Because of this, hearing protection should be used at lower volumes than you might expect. Noise induced tinnitus symptoms can often be avoided altogether by doing this.

If I have tinnitus, what should I do?

So, does tinnitus go away? Well, in some cases it could. But your symptoms might be permanent in some cases. At first, it’s basically impossible to tell which is which. If you have tinnitus caused by noise damage, even if your tinnitus does go away, your chance of having your tinnitus return and become chronic is a lot more probable.

Individuals tend to underestimate the minimum volume that damage begins to happen, which is the most significant contributing factor to its development. Damage has likely already occurred if you’re experiencing tinnitus. This means that there are several things that you should do to alter your environment so as to prevent more permanent damage.

Here are some tips you can try:

  • If possible, try to lower environmental volume. If you have any machinery that’s not in use, turn it off, and close the windows if it’s noisy outside, for instance.
  • If you’re in a loud environment, limit the amount of exposure time and give your ears breaks.
  • Using hearing protection (either earplugs or earmuffs) in order to prevent damage. You can also get some amount of protection from noise canceling headphones.

How to handle your symptoms

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

You should call 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 identify how best to address them. There’s no cure for most types of chronic tinnitus. Here are a few ways to manage the symptoms:

  • Relaxation techniques: High blood pressure has sometimes been associated with an increase in the severity of tinnitus symptoms. So taking some time to relax (with meditation, for example) can sometimes help decrease your tinnitus symptoms.
  • 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: In some cases, you can tune out some of your tinnitus symptoms by using a white noise generator around your house.
  • Masking device: This is a device that fits like a hearing aid and plays sounds to mask your symptoms. The exact calibration of your device will depend on your particular symptoms.
  • Hearing aid: The ringing or buzzing produced by tinnitus can be drowned out by amplifying the volume of external sounds with hearing aids.

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

But tinnitus can be managed and managed. 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 might simply mean using a white noise machine. In other cases, a more extensive approach might be necessary.

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.