Tinnitus is the hearing of noises that have no external source. It derives from the Latin word for ringing.
People suffering from the condition hear buzzing, whistling or hissing noises that no one else can.
There’s no one size fits all when it comes to tinnitus - for some, noises can come and go, and for others they are constant. Sounds can be heard in one or both ears.
Some people are diagnosed with musical tinnitus, where the noise sounds like a familiar tune, and others experience pulsatile tinnitus, a beat which follows that of the heart.
What Causes Tinnitus?
According to the British Tinnitus Association, around 30% of people will experience tinnitus at some point in their lives, while 13% will live with it persistently.
It is thought that it is caused by a sort of sudden mental or physical change within the body, such as long periods of stress, ear infections and hearing loss.
These all change the amount of information sent to the brain by the ears.
In turn, the brain pushes to receive more. This excess sound is tinnitus.
Constant exposure to loud music or machinery can also increase the likelihood of developing the condition.
How can I Prevent Symptoms from Worsening?
At Earjobs, we specialise in protecting your hearing so that you can continue to enjoy life the way you always have.
Luckily, steps can be taken to reduce symptoms of tinnitus which can make it easier to deal with daily. Here are a few:
Although the experience can be a little uncomfortable, having ear wax removed by a professional can decrease tinnitus symptoms.
However, if you would prefer to not go to a doctor, you need to be knowledgeable about how to safely remove wax yourself.
And no - this doesn’t mean using earbuds!
Healthline recommends putting oil such as coconut or olive into a dropper bottle and placing a few drops in the ear, keeping the head tilted for around five minutes.
Listen to White Noise
Listening to white noise for a length of time each day can significantly help to suppress the sound of ringing or buzzing in the ears.
White noise machines are ideal for helping those with tinnitus to concentrate, relax and even sleep as they offer simple and long-lasting relief from internal sounds.
The Avantek Portable White Noise Machine is great for those who travel around a lot, or even simply want something they can move room to room easily.
Wear masking devices
Similar to hearing aids, masking devices are worn in the ear and play low-level white noise continuously which can help the brain to ignore tinnitus symptoms.
Make sure to consult with your doctor before wearing masking devices long-term.
How to Prevent Tinnitus
If you do not yet suffer from tinnitus but are worried about it developing in the future, consider wearing ear protection.
Those who are constantly exposed to loud music or machinery at home or work should consider the use of earplugs to lessen heavy sound exposure to the ears.
We stock a great range of earplugs to protect your hearing in every situation, whether you're working, listening to loud music or at the shooting range.
And, if you struggle to wear earplugs, give earmuffs a try.
Comfortable to wear and guaranteed to not fall off, earmuffs are perfect for those in physical jobs.
Our face-to-face communication earmuffs block out loud noise while using a Push-to-Listen button that allows conversation to filter through without removing the protection.