Protecting your ears to prevent tinnitus

Constant ringing in the ears is debilitating and you should do everything possible to protect yourself from it. In this article, the expert audiologists at The Tinnitus Clinic, London, have put together these tips to help you reduce your risk of tinnitus and hearing loss.

Avoiding tinnitus or ringing in the ears

Exposure to any loud sounds – from music to gunfire to industrial noise – can bring on tinnitus, a debilitating condition characterised by constant ringing in your ears. While there are a range of effective treatments for tinnitus available, there is not yet a cure that works in every case. That’s why it is highly important to protect your ears in these noisy environments.

Wear ear defence to avoid tinnitus

If you’re frequently in a loud environment, such as a nightclub or factory, it’s worth investing in good quality ear protection devices. These won’t filter out all the noise. You will still be able to enjoy your favourite band at a concert, for example. However, they will reduce the volume to a level that has less impact on your hearing.

Take time out from noisy environments to reduce the risk of tinnitus

Prolonged exposure to noises over 85 decibels has been linked to noise-induced hearing loss. As an example, the sound of fireworks exploding is over 120 decibels; while gunfire often reaches a noise level of over 150 decibels. Try to limit your exposure to this level of noise to less than an hour before giving your ears a break in a quieter environment.

Protect your ears by keeping your distance from the source of the noise

Being right next to the speakers at a nightclub or standing too close to a fireworks display will increase your risk of damaging your hearing. If you move to the other side of the room or further back in the crowd, you may be able to remain in that environment for longer without damaging your hearing.

Get any signs of ringing in your ears checked

If you do experience ringing in your ears or any distortion/muffling of your hearing after being in a noisy environment, this may fade after a day or two. However, if your tinnitus or hearing loss continues for a prolonged period, it is important to get this checked by a health professional.

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