Hearing issues definitely can make anyone feel stressed and socially isolated. Especially, when some people hear ringing or any other sounds in their ears even when there are no outside noises, they have trouble concentrating on their work. Today, we are going to talk about tinnitus and some ways that may help to avoid it.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a condition in which one or both ears experience ringing or other similar noises. The noise you hear when you have tinnitus isn’t caused by external sounds, and most individuals don’t hear it. It’s a frequent condition, affecting 15% to 20% of the population, with older adults being the most affected. Tinnitus can cause these people to lose sleep, have trouble concentrating or reading, and have negative emotional reactions including despair, frustration, and sadness.
Common Causes of Tinnitus
Let’s understand the common causes of tinnitus:
Hearing Loss — Tinnitus is caused when the delicate and tiny hair cells inside your inner ear become bent or broken, which can happen as you get older or when you’re often exposed to loud noises. Exposure to loud noises is one of the common causes of hearing loss. Loud noises are especially damaging to the inner ear (cochlea).
As you know people can get hearing loss when they’re exposed to loud noises and sounds for a long time as it can overwork hair cells in the ear, causing them to die.
Loud sounds can be harmful for the cochlea’s cells and membranes.
Head or Neck Injuries — Head or neck trauma can harm the inner ear, hearing nerves, or hearing-related brain function. As a result, tinnitus is commonly present in one ear after such accidents.
Ear Canal Blockage — An accumulation of dirt, earwax, fluid (ear infection), or other foreign things might clog your ear canals. The blockage can cause tinnitus.
Other common causes of tinnitus are:
- Side effects of medications
- Problems of blood vessels, heart, teeth or jaw, neck.
- High or low blood pressure
Symptoms of Tinnitus
Here are some of the common symptoms of tinnitus:
- Besides the ringing in the ears, tinnitus can also cause other noises, such as buzzing, humming, roaring, hissing, roaring, clicking.
- Tinnitus can sometimes be as a repetitive pulsating or whooshing sound, which is commonly synchronized with your heartbeat. The latter is called pulsatile tinnitus.
- Tinnitus noises can range from a low roar to a high-pitched noise, and they can be heard in one or both ears. The sound can be so loud that it doesn’t allow you to focus or hear external sounds in some circumstances.
Factors That Increase Your Risk
Tinnitus can affect anyone, however, the following things may raise your risk:
- Workers in noisy workplaces, such as musicians, industry and construction workers, soldiers, are more vulnerable as they are exposed to loud noises. Weapons, MP3 players, heavy equipment, and speakers all produce loud noises.
- Tinnitus affects more men than women.
- The number of working nerve fibers in your ears decreases as you become older, which could lead to hearing difficulties like tinnitus.
- Tinnitus is more likely to develop among smokers. The risk is also increased when you drink alcohol.
- Tinnitus is more likely if you have high blood pressure, obesity, head injury, cardiovascular problems, or a history of arthritis.
Tinnitus is often the outcome of something that can’t be avoided. However, some precautions can help avoid some kinds of tinnitus. Let’s dive into the tips that may decrease the risk of getting it:
- Hearing aids — protect your ears with hearing aids. Tinnitus is common in patients who simultaneously suffer hearing loss. Hearing aids can also improve communication.
- Be away from loud sounds — Loud noises can harm the nerves in the ears over time, leading to tinnitus and hearing loss. Be away from loud noises. Long-term exposure to loud music and noises without proper ear protection and listening to music at very high volumes through headphones can cause hearing loss and tnnitus. If you are going to a concert, try to take a seat that is away from speakers. If you work at nightclubs, give your ears some rest by 15 minutes or step away from sources of noise.
- Keep your heart safe — Tinnitus can be caused from blood vessel issues, so it’s crucial to exercise and have a balanced diet to maintain good heart health. Maintaining good health may also help you avoid taking medications that can induce tinnitus.
- Cope with stress — By managing stress, those with tinnitus or a tendency to develop it may be able to ease or avoid it. Muscle contractions caused by stress can worsen the experience of tinnitus noises. This is crucial not only for tinnitus but also for any other problems you could experience. Stress can exacerbate the symptoms of almost any illness. Breathing exercises, meditation, relaxing activities, yoga, taking a walk, and cognitive-behavioral therapy are all examples of stress management techniques.
- Set headphones to lower volume — To avoid hearing loss and tinnitus, set your headphones and earbuds to a lower volume. Noise-canceling headphones are a fantastic choice since they help you hear at a lower volume by reducing interfering noises. Lower your TV volume.
- Stop smoking — Tinnitus is more likely to affect smokers. This is another reason to quit smoking to maintain your health.
- Quit alcohol — Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine can affect blood flow, leading to tinnitus.
- Maintain good posture — Tinnitus can be avoided by maintaining proper posture throughout time and avoiding neck injuries. For some people who already have tinnitus, head posture can influence whether or not they hear tinnitus noises. Experiment with different postures to determine if one works for you well if you have tinnitus.
Follow the above-mentioned precautions and try to stay healthy and away from hearing problems!
And in case you have any hearing-related problems or just want to check your hearing health, feel free to contact us for a free hearing test.