Will My Ears Ring Forever?
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Experiencing a ringing in your ears is something many of us may have experienced at one time or another. This is called tinnitus, and can vary from mild to severe. It may also sound different from person to person – some may hear it as a ringing, while others may experience it as a buzzing sound. Annoying at best but debilitating at worse, you’ll likely want to know if you should expect to experience this forever.
It’s important to note that tinnitus isn't a condition itself – it's a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury, or a circulatory system disorder.
Lessening the effects of tinnitus
If you visit a doctor, they may tell you that there’s nothing you can do about tinnitus and that you just have to get on with it. However, there are things you can do to lessen the effects, both in the short term and the long term. For example:
- Always wear hearing protection around loud sounds: Wear protection at concerts, when using a lawn mower and other power tools, etc.
- Get tinnitus counseling: Have an assessment with a hearing instrument specialist (HIS) to see if the effects can be lessened.
- Try tinnitus sound therapy: Amplified sound from hearing aids, environmental influences, music, or noise generators can help minimize the contrast between the buzzing or ringing of tinnitus and the surrounding sound environment.
- Relaxation exercises: Stress could potentially make tinnitus more difficult to live with. Try breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques.
- White noise: White noise and other relaxing sounds may help to soothe and distract from tinnitus.
- Avoid caffeine: Caffeine has been thought to make tinnitus worse.
- Avoid alcohol: Alcohol could cause more blood flow to your inner ear and enhance the ringing.
In some cases, tinnitus may be temporary and may go away. However, other forms of tinnitus will last much longer. It may present itself as a constant ringing in your ear or as recurring episodes. As mentioned earlier, tinnitus can present itself differently. You may experience it as:
- Mild: Can often be masked by louder sounds. May only notice it when in very quiet environments.
- High pitched tinnitus: Some people hear this as a buzzing, whistling or hissing. They may be related to your posture; you may only hear them when you lay down.
- Low frequency tinnitus: Sometimes your tinnitus may present itself as a low-pitched rumbling sound.
- Musical hallucinations: Although rare, tinnitus can occasionally present itself as a hallucination that leaves you hearing a song repeatedly in your head.
Hearing aids to help tinnitus
There are no magic pills to help/cure tinnitus – this is false. Only tinnitus management devices and sound therapy are effective. Hearing aids can be used to help tinnitus – in fact, they are the most effective way to do it.
Hearing aids help by providing maximum amplification for very quiet environments, and therefore reduce the contrast between the tinnitus and the silence. They can also limit the overall loudness of sound delivered to the ear in noisy environments. Certain hearing aids may even come equipped with something masking features, a functionality that plays soothing tones, helping to provide relief from tinnitus when you need it. Of course, the only way anybody with tinnitus should be selecting a hearing aid is with the guidance of a HIS professional.
Many people claim that tinnitus is caused by listening to music through headphones too loudly, or from using loud power tools. However, this condition has been around for a very long time – much longer than portable music devices. Although your tinnitus may have been caused by frequent loud concerts with no hearing protection, that doesn’t mean somebody else’s was. Every case of tinnitus is just as unique as your own ability to hear, which is why it’s important to work with a professional on identifying your contributing factors.
Your ears do not have to ring forever. As we have discussed here, there are many ways you can soothe the noise in your ears, from things you can do yourself at home, to hearing aids after being assessed by a HIS professional. If you want to enjoy life without the noise in your ears, contact a HIS professional today.
To learn more about Nobile Hearing Aids contact us today
If you’d like to learn more about your tinnitus condition and get a professional opinion on the treatment that is best for you, you can contact Nobile Hearing Aids using this phone number 239-772-8101. A HIS will be available to help you and make an appointment.