Is Your Environment The Source of Your Tinnitus?

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

It isn’t unusual for individuals to have ringing in their ears, also called tinnitus. Some estimates indicate that 10 percent of people have tinnitus at one point 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 actually there, typically, it’s a buzzing or ringing, but tinnitus can take the form of other sounds as well.

While the prevalence of tinnitus might be evident, the causes are frequently more cloudy. In part, that’s because tinnitus could result from a wide variety of causes, some of which are temporary and others that can be more long lasting.

This is why environmental factors can Have a major impact on tinnitus symptoms. After all, every environment has a soundscape, and when that soundscape is loud, you might be causing damage to your ears. This environmental tinnitus might sometimes be permanent or it might sometimes react to changes to make your environment quieter.

Why do so many people experience tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition that causes you to hear a sound that isn’t really there. For most people, tinnitus manifests as a ringing or buzzing, but it may possibly also present as thumping, humming, screeching, or other noises as well. Typically, the sounds are steady or rhythmic. For most individuals, 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.

There are a couple of reasons why tinnitus is so common. 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 often a symptom of an underlying condition or injury. Put simply, there are lots of such injuries or conditions that can trigger tinnitus. Tinnitus is quite common for these reasons.

How can the environment impact tinnitus?

Other things can also produce tinnitus, including ototoxic medications and chemicals. However, when most people discuss “environment” when it comes to tinnitus, they actually mean the noise. For example, some neighborhoods are louder than others (traffic noise in some areas can get exceptionally high). Likewise, anybody who works around industrial equipment all day would be at risk of their environment exacerbating their tinnitus.

When assessing the state of your health, these environmental factors are very important.

As with hearing loss, noise-induced damage can eventually cause tinnitus symptoms. When tinnitus is due to noise damage, it’s typically chronic and frequently permanent. Here are some of the most common noise-related causes of tinnitus:

  • Music: Many individuals will frequently listen to their music at high volumes. Tinnitus will often be the outcome if you do this regularly.
  • Traffic: Traffic in densely populated locations can be much louder than you may expect it to be. 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.
  • Events: Tinnitus can sometimes result from loud noises, even if they aren’t experienced over a long duration. Shooting a gun or going to a rock concert are instances of this type of noise.
  • Noise in the workplace: Lots of workplaces, including offices, are often the source of loud noises. Whether it’s industrial equipment or chatty office neighbors, spending eight hours a day around constant workplace noise can eventually result in tinnitus.

People frequently mistakenly think damage to their ears will only happen at extreme volume levels. For this reason, hearing protection should be utilized at lower volumes than you might expect. Noise associated tinnitus symptoms can frequently be avoided altogether by doing this.

What should I do if I’m experiencing tinnitus?

Will tinnitus go away on its own? Maybe, in some instances. But your symptoms might be irreversible in some instances. 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 hasn’t occurred, resulting in an increased risk of chronic tinnitus in the future.

People often underestimate the minimum volume that damage starts to happen, 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 a number of things that you should do to alter your environment so as to prevent more irreparable damage.

Here are some tips you can try:

  • Reducing the volume of your environment when possible. For example, you could shut the windows if you live in a loud area or turn off industrial equipment that isn’t in use.
  • If you’re in a loud environment, limit the amount of exposure time and give your ears rests.
  • Wearing hearing protection (either earplugs or earmuffs) in order to counter damage. Noise canceling headphones can also be an asset in this regard.

Managing symptoms

Lots of individuals who experience persistent tinnitus find the symptoms to be extremely disruptive and uncomfortable. As a result, they often ask: how do you quiet tinnitus?

If you hear a buzzing or ringing sound, it’s important to set up an appointment, particularly if the sound won’t go away. We can help you figure out the best way to manage your particular situation. For the majority of cases of chronic tinnitus, there’s no cure. Symptom management might include the following:

  • Relaxation techniques: Tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be aggravated by high blood pressure. So taking a little time to relax (with meditation, for example) can sometimes help diminish your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Hearing aid: This can help amplify outside sounds and, as a result, drown out the ringing or buzzing produced by tinnitus.
  • White noise devices: In some cases, you can tune out some of your tinnitus symptoms by using a white noise generator around your home.
  • Masking device: This is a device that fits similarly to a hearing aid and plays sounds to mask your symptoms. The exact calibration of your device will depend on your particular symptoms.
  • Retraining therapy: You can sometimes retrain your ears with the assistance of a specialist, which will slowly retrain the way you process sound.

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

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, managing your tinnitus might simply mean utilizing a white noise machine. In other cases, a more extensive approach might be needed.

Schedule an appointment to find out how to address your tinnitus symptoms.

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.