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

It isn’t uncommon for individuals to have ringing in their ears, also known as tinnitus. It’s one of the most prevalent 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 too.

While the preponderance 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 permanent.

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 respond to changes to make your environment quieter.

Why do so many individuals experience tinnitus?

When you hear noises that aren’t really present, that’s tinnitus. Tinnitus usually manifests as a ringing or buzzing, but can also manifest as other sounds, like screeching, thumping, or humming. The sounds are typically rhythmic in nature. For the majority of people, tinnitus will manifest over a short period of time before solving itself and vanishing. Though not as common, chronic tinnitus is effectively permanent.

Tinnitus is so common for a couple of reasons. The first is that the environmental factors that contribute to tinnitus are also quite common (more on that soon). The second reason is that tinnitus is usually a symptom of an underlying condition or injury. Put simply, there are lots of such injuries or conditions that can result in tinnitus. Consequently, tinnitus tends to be quite common.

How is tinnitus impacted by environmental factors?

There are a wide variety of factors that can bring about tinnitus symptoms, including ototoxic chemicals and medications. However, when the majority of people discuss “environment” when it comes to tinnitus, they actually mean the noise. For example, some locations are noisier than others (traffic noise in some settings can get extremely high). Likewise, anyone who works around industrial equipment all day would be at risk of their environment worsening their tinnitus.

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

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

  • Music: Listening to music at loud volumes is a pretty common practice. Tinnitus will often be the outcome if you do this frequently.
  • 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 constant workplace noise can eventually lead to tinnitus.
  • Traffic: Traffic in densely populated locations can be much louder than you may expect it to be. And noise damage can happen at a lower volume than you may expect. Tinnitus and hearing damage can be the result of long commutes in these noisy locations.
  • Events: If noise is loud enough, even over short periods, tinnitus can sometimes be the result. Firing a gun or going to a rock concert are instances of this kind of noise.

People often wrongly believe damage to their ears will only occur at extreme volume levels. Consequently, it’s essential to use hearing protection before you think you may need it. Hearing protection can help you avoid tinnitus symptoms from developing in the first place.

What should I do if I’m experiencing tinnitus?

Will tinnitus go away on its own? Perhaps, in some cases. But your symptoms might be irreversible in some cases. At first, it’s basically impossible to know which is which. Moreover, just because your tinnitus has gone away for now doesn’t mean that noise damage hasn’t happened, leading to an increased chance of chronic tinnitus down the road.

One of the most main contributing factors to the advancement of tinnitus is that people tend to underestimate the volume at which damage occurs to their ears. Damage has likely already occurred 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 permanent damage.

Here are some tips you can try:

  • Reducing the amount of time you spend in loud environments without giving your ears a chance to recover.
  • If possible, try to lower environmental volume. If you have any machinery that isn’t in use, turn it off, and shut the windows if it’s noisy outside, for example.
  • Wearing 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 deal with your symptoms

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

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

  • Masking device: This device is similar to a hearing aid, only instead of amplifying sounds, it masks them. Your device will be specifically calibrated to mask your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Retraining therapy: In some situations, you can work with a specialist to retrain your ears, slowly modifying the way you process sound.
  • Hearing aid: The ringing or buzzing produced by tinnitus can be drowned out by boosting the volume of outside sounds with hearing aids.
  • Relaxation techniques: High blood pressure has sometimes been associated with an increase in the severity of tinnitus symptoms. So taking a little time to relax (with meditation, for instance) can sometimes help diminish your tinnitus symptoms.
  • White noise devices: In some instances, you can tune out some of your tinnitus symptoms by using a white noise generator around your home.

Tinnitus has no cure. That’s why managing your environment to protect your hearing is a practical first step.

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, managing your tinnitus may simply mean utilizing a white noise machine. For other people, management might be more intense.

Set up 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 or Text Us