When you leave a music concert or live event, the only thing you want to remember are the fun times you had whilst there. If the event was particularly loud, you may have come home with more than just memories. When laying your head on your pillow in an attempt to fall asleep, have you ever been overcome with a constant ringing in your ears? If the answer is yes, you have experienced tinnitus.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a condition where sounds are present within the ear, such as ringing, buzzing or whistling, but there is no external source making them. It can last a number of hours, on and off daily, or for some, every day of their lives. No matter how much noise you experience, all of them indicate that an individual has been exposed to dangerous noise levels.
In Australia alone, over 70 per cent of the population, aged between 18 and 34 have experienced some form of tinnitus at least once in their lifetime. On top of this statistic, 30 per cent of Australian citizens live with tinnitus – over 7 million1!
30 percent of Australian citizens live with tinnitus.
Unfortunately, although extremely common, there is no cure for tinnitus. However, there are tried and tested methods proven to help minimise effects. Before we explore these below, it's advised to seek the help and advice of a medical professional to determine what kind of treatment is best for you.
DIY treatments for your tinnitus
1. Find the triggers – If you're able to identify the root cause of the condition, you should be able to prevent further damage. If, for example, you work in a noisy working environment such as a building site, it's wise to always wear sufficient ear protection to eliminate over-exposure to dangerous noise levels. Ear plugs are known to reduce levels by 15-30 dB.
2. Avoid silence – Although you may want to experience pure silence, the chances of achieving such results are undoubtedly slim. Going out of your way to try and make your environment as quiet as possible will only exaggerate any noises you may have in your ears. A better option is to let your brain focus on low level background noises, such as soft music or television. This will distract you and shift the focus off the ringing.
3. Stay away from stimulants – A morning coffee is a pleasant start to the day, however, caffeine and other stimulants such as nicotine and decongestants have been known to aggravate tinnitus.
4. Relax, relax, relax – Avoiding stress in our day to day lives is a factor sought out by many. However, did you know that practising relaxation techniques can significantly reduce the symptoms of tinnitus? A state of relaxation causes the brain to adopt a lesser state of alertness. This then allows the cognitive system to do the same, resulting in a lower and more stress-free bout of tinnitus.
5. Get a hearing test – One of the most important factors in treating your tinnitus is to receive a hearing check. Not only will this measure your cognitive abilities, hearing aids have also been proven to assist in reducing the distress of tinnitus. This is down to the brain receiving more help in the form of stimulation from the device, eliminating the need to search for sounds internally. Hearing aids also prevent the brain from straining when trying to process speech, allowing for lower stress levels all round.
With people taking on various forms of tinnitus, some methods and treatments may work better than others. However, for all of those experiencing symptoms, a great first step is to seek the advice of a medical professional. Contact our friendly and expert team at Audika today on 1800 340 631 or click here to book your hearing test to get you and your hearing back on track.