Ringing in the ears is a sensation that almost everyone has experienced at one point or another, often after exposure to extremely loud noises. This is known as short-term Tinnitus. However, for some the problem is a lot more prevalent.
Chronic tinnitus describes the sensation of hearing sound in your head with no external source. Often the sound takes the form of ringing, but it could also sound like buzzing or chirping. Some people experience Tinnitus in just one ear, others both. It can be triggered by a number of different things, including some medications, caffeine and exposure to super noisy events like music concerts or loud mechanical equipment like a jackhammer. If the sensation is experienced for more than six months it is known as Chronic Tinnitus. If you suspect you may be suffering from Tinnitus it is advised you see a doctor to try and work out the underlying causes.
While there is no cure for Chronic Tinnitus there are a number of things you can do to make living with it more manageable. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help sufferers reframe their response to Tinnitus and allow them to relax through the use of breathing exercises. White Noise produced via a White Noise Machine or an in-ear device has also proven to be an effective treatment, helping to ‘mask’ the ringing sound. It is also advisable to avoid caffeine and have your medication consumption checked out to see if they may be contributing to your symptoms. Ibuprofen for example is known to worsen the symptoms of Tinnitus when taken too often.
Ear plugs are also an excellent way to both manage and prevent Tinnitus from getting worse. Ear plugs should be used around heavy machinery (sometimes in conjunction with ear muffs) as well as at loud music events. For musicians and avid music fans special music ear plugs are available that maintain clarity while lowering overall volume. This allows the music to be enjoyed at safe levels without muffling the sound. As musicians and music fans are especially prone to Tinnitus and hearing loss (just recall the plot of A Star Is Born) it is advisable to always wear ear plugs to live music even if you haven’t yet started experiencing symptoms.
It is also worth noting that your general health can play a role in how adversely you feel the symptoms of Tinnitus. It’s worth considering your diet, sleep and general stress levels. Getting on top of these will make it easier to deal with your Tinnitus.
You can check out our range of ear plugs for music here.
For more information check out Tinnitus Australia.