Tinnitus is a condition characterized by constant ringing, clicking, chirping, roaring, whistling, or buzzing sound in the ears. The sound may be of high or low frequency and might be heard in one or both the ears. In the older population, it could be an early sign of hearing loss. These sounds are often heard in quiet surroundings where it is often little or no sound. Exposure to noise above 85 decibels can be pretty harmful to our ears.
Tinnitus Risk factors:
- Exposure to loud noise: Constant exposure to loud noise (For eg: Living near a construction area) can be a huge risk.
- Age-related: For many people, the risk of tinnitus occurring can increase with old age especially around 60yrs.
- Ear wax blockage: Accumulation of excess ear wax can lead to irritation in the ears and reducing the functionality of the ears.
- Ear diseases: Certain ear diseases like Meniere’s disease or Otosclerosis can increase the risk.
- Medical conditions: Medical issues like Hypertension, Diabetes, Anemia, Thyroid issues, allergies increase the risk.
- Neck or head injury
- Medications: Patients using certain drugs like aspirin, antidepressants, or anti-inflammatory drugs report tinnitus as a side effect.
- Profession: Certain people working in specific professions are more prone to tinnitus compared to others. Factory workers, musicians, dental care workers, construction workers, military personnel, teachers, farmers, airport staff, people working in entertainment sectors like DJs or bartenders are some of the professions that carry the increased risk of developing tinnitus.
The preventive measures that can be undertaken are:
- Use ear muffs or hearing protective aids: It is important to protect your ears from constant loud noise. Wearing ear muffs, headphones or earplugs can help wane the noise out a little.
- Switch from loud to low: It is better to turn the volume of your radio, TV, or phones down for a change. Also listening to soft soothing music can help relieve your ears compared to hard rock music.
- Take care of your health: A proper diet and exercise can help you keep away from all those nasty metabolic disorders like Obesity, Hypertension, and Diabetes which are a risk factor for many diseases.
- Consult a medical professional: If symptoms worsen, it is necessary to consult a health professional.