Permanent noise in your head
Imagine this: always experiencing noise in your head. What if you always hear a beep, buzz or other noise? Approximately 13% of all people are living with this. And this number rises, especially among youth. Proper information and prevention are more important than ever.
This week (1-7 February) is Tinnitus Week. Comfoor finds control over sound is important to fully enjoy life. Everyone wants to use their hearing as long and good as possible, after all. As specialist in the area of hearing protection we'd like to tell you a bit more about tinnitus and above all, how to prevent it.
What is tinnitus?
All symptoms where people 'hear' whistling, buzzing, beeping, ringing or other noises without them being present in the environment, is called tinnitus. Tinnitus comes from the Latin word of 'tinnire', which means 'to ring'.
Tinnitus can occur in one or both ears, constantly or with breaks in between and in different strengths. When you have tinnitus, the sound can stay the same, but it's also possible for an extra sound to appear or a sound to disappear.
Causes of tinnitus
Where to begin? There are a lot (around 400) possible causes of tinnitus! It can be caused by different ear conditions like infections, hearing damage or sudden deafness. Even medicine use, a concussion or high blood pressure can be (medical) causes of tinnitus.
In most cases, however, loud noise is the culprit. Too much noise in the workplace, at festivals and concerts, when making music or having music too loud through your earbuds.
Concequences of tinnitus
One person will find the ringing just annoying, the other might get sleeping issues. Yet another can feel anxious or depressed because of the ringing. About 25% of people that have chronic tinnitus is seriously suffering and heavily imacted in daily life. They experience life with tinnitus as a huge decrease in quality of life amd are constantly looking for solutions to decrease the amount of ringing.
Coping with tinnitus
Because of the permanent perception of unwanted sound, a lot of people have trouble concentrating and sleeping. Because tinnitus is a big distraction, hearing and understanding others often takes more effort. This can lead to additional exhaustion.
By focusing on the ringing, it can become a more dominant part of someone's life. They lead a less active life and stay at home more often. In combination with stress or emotional problems the issues can worsen.
After reading all this, do you think 'I recognise this, now what?' A visit to your general practicioner is always the first step. They will possibly send you to an ENT-doctor for further examination. When the issues are serious, your doctor will look for possible treatments to lighten the load.
Stay one step ahead
Tinnitus can improve with the right treatment, but you'll rarely be fully free of it. That is why it's much easier (and better) to take away the risk and stay ahead of the issue.
In some cases you'll unfortunately have little influence. You do have an influence on the sound levels coming into your ears. Hopefully we'll be able to enjoy festivals, concerts or a night out with friends somewhere in 2021. Don't stand directly in front of the sound source, consider the sound levels and protect your ears (while the experience remains) with filtered ear plugs. This way, you are protected and still able to enjoy sound! Hearing protection is available for every budget and you can get both universal and custom made earplugs. In short: enjoy life, control sound!
The British Tinnitus Association campaigns every year for the Tinnitus Week. More information on https://www.tinnitus.org.uk/