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 have tinnitus at one point or another, making it one of the most common health conditions in the world. 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 also.

Sadly, the causes of tinnitus aren’t as evident as the symptoms. 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 setting is very loud, you may be harming your hearing. This environmental tinnitus may sometimes be permanent or it might sometimes respond to changes to make your environment quieter.

What is tinnitus (and why is it so common)?

Tinnitus is a condition that causes you to hear a sound that isn’t really there. Tinnitus typically manifests as a ringing or buzzing, but can also manifest as other noises, like screeching, thumping, or humming. The sounds are typically rhythmic in nature. Tinnitus will normally clear itself up after a short time period. In less common cases, tinnitus may become effectively permanent, a condition known as chronic tinnitus.

There are a couple of reasons why tinnitus is so common. Firstly, environmental factors that can contribute to tinnitus are rather prevalent. The second reason is that tinnitus is often 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 quite common.

How can the environment affect tinnitus?

There are a large number of factors that can bring about tinnitus symptoms, including ototoxic chemicals and medications. But when it comes to “environmental” triggers, noise is the biggest offender. For instance, some locations are louder than others (traffic noise in some areas can get exceptionally high). Someone would be at risk of environmental tinnitus, for instance, if they worked around loud industrial equipment.

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

As with hearing loss, noise-related damage can eventually cause tinnitus symptoms. In these situations, the resulting tinnitus tends to be chronic in nature. Here are some of the most common noise-related causes of tinnitus:

  • Traffic: You may not even recognize how loud traffic can be in heavily populated locations. And you might not even realize that your ears can be damaged at lower volumes than you might expect. Long commutes or consistent driving in these loud settings 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 constant workplace noise can eventually result in tinnitus.
  • Events: Tinnitus can sometimes be caused by loud noises, even if they aren’t experienced over a long duration. Firing a gun or going to a rock concert are instances of this type of noise.
  • Music: Many people will frequently listen to their music at loud volumes. Tinnitus will often be the outcome if you do this frequently.

Damage to the ears can occur at a far lower volume than people usually expect. Because of this, hearing protection should be used at lower volumes than you may expect. Noise related tinnitus symptoms can often be avoided altogether by doing this.

What should I do if I’m experiencing tinnitus?

Will tinnitus go away on its own? Perhaps, in some cases. In other cases, your symptoms could be irreversible. There’s no way to tell which is which at the outset. Moreover, just because your tinnitus has gone away for now doesn’t mean that noise damage has not happened, resulting in an increased risk of chronic tinnitus in the future.

One of the most main contributing factors to the advancement of tinnitus is that individuals tend to underestimate the volume at which damage occurs to their ears. If you experience tinnitus, your body is telling you that damage has already probably happened. If this is the situation, identifying and changing the source of the noise damage is essential to prevent further damage.

For example, you could try:

  • Prevent damage by utilizing hearing protection like earplugs or earmuffs. Noise canceling headphones can also be a benefit in this regard.
  • If possible, try to decrease 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.
  • Limiting the amount of time you spend in noisy environments without giving your ears a chance to recuperate.

How to handle your symptoms

Lots of people who experience persistent tinnitus find the symptoms to be tremendously disruptive and unpleasant. As a result, they frequently ask: how do you quiet tinnitus?

You should contact us for an appointment if you’re hearing a persistent ringing or buzzing in your ears. We can help you determine the best way to address your specific situation. There’s no cure for most forms of chronic tinnitus. Symptom management might include the following:

  • Hearing aid: This can help amplify other sounds and, as a result, drown out the ringing or buzzing produced by tinnitus.
  • Relaxation techniques: High blood pressure has sometimes been connected to an increase in the severity of tinnitus symptoms. Your tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be eased by utilizing relaxation techniques like meditation, for instance.
  • Retraining therapy: You can sometimes retrain your ears with the help of a specialist, which will slowly retrain the way you process sound.
  • White noise devices: In some cases, you can tune out some of your tinnitus symptoms by utilizing a white noise generator around your house.
  • Masking device: This is a device that fits similarly to a hearing aid and plays sounds that mask your symptoms. The precise calibration of your device will depend on your specific symptoms.

Tinnitus has no cure. A great 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 develop a specific treatment plan for you. For some, managing your tinnitus may simply mean utilizing a white noise machine. In other situations, a more intensive approach might 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.