How to Prevent Tinnitus? Looking for a Guide!

Discussion in 'Support' started by Tomas Ku, Nov 11, 2021.

    1. Tomas Ku

      Tomas Ku Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      not full yet
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      will see
      Hi everybody,

      I am new here. I am 24-year-old male. Had some problems with my ear a year ago - it probably wasn't tinnitus - just very slight humming for a couple of days, barely noticeable. It went away after a while (luckily) but I became aware of this condition and now, I'd like to learn more about it and do everything in my power to prevent it.

      The reason is I suffer from severe anxiety and I hate loud noises. I would not be able to sleep with tinnitus. Just the thought of getting tinnitus scares me (yes, you guessed it, I am hypochondriac).

      From what I've learned - there are so many causes of tinnitus and it may very well be impossible to control all of it. Some of the major causes are: certain meds (like SSRIs), use of opiates, genetic hearing loss, ear damage due to loud noise exposition, ear infection. Tinnitus may also be caused by bending your neck in a bad way or sneezing in a wrong way (if I understood it correctly).

      My question is: is there any kind of guide on how to take care of your ears in the best possible way? For example - I still don't know how to clean your ears properly. Some people say you can just pour water from the shower right into your ears, some say that one should use q-tips. Some people say both ways are wrong.

      Please, is there any kind of article here that will help me to do my best to prevent tinnitus? Thanks in advance.

      Tom
       
    2. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      Hi @Tomas Ku,
      First of all, I don't think you need to clean your ears since they're a self cleaning organ. The wax protects the ear canals from infection and any excess should make its way out by itself. If there's too much wax, you should let a doctor remove it manually using a curette, because suctioning or rinsing with water can be loud enough to damage hearing.

      Bottom line is; hearing loss is the most common cause behind tinnitus, and there doesn't have to be a lot of it. One single loud event can be the straw that breaks the camels back, so to say, as happened for me. The fact of the matter is this; we live in an insanely noisy society, and our ears aren't capable of handling the noises which we encounter everyday, like city noise. Here's just my opinion, but to prevent tinnitus, I'd 1) use ear plugs in public places, and 2) never go to concerts, and 3) ditch headphones.

      We shouldn't protect our hearing 24/7, but a good rule of thumb is for anything above 70 dB, and let me tell you; there's a lot of stuff in a day a normal person hears that are above 70 dB!

      If you just take care of your ears a bit more than your peers, you'll be fine. Any development of tinnitus should be, if not prevented, at least postponed by a number of years.

      Take care,
      Stacken
       
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    3. PortugalTheMan
      Shocked

      PortugalTheMan Member

      Location:
      Portugal
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety / Maybe years listening to music on headphones
      Hi Tom, sorry but avoiding 100% you will never succeed, there will be some point in your life that you have to take a medication that causes tinnitus and this can happen. So nothing is guaranteed.

      What I advise you is to live your life, and not stop doing anything, because we only live once...
       
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    4. DimLeb

      DimLeb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic Cochleopathy or Maybe Loud Music
      @Tomas Ku, the only certain thing with tinnitus is that it's 100% uncertain. There is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent or not prevent it. People can blast themselves with loud sounds and not get it, and also, not blast with anything and still get it. Same with medications, medical conditions, colds, whatever.

      Just be thankful you don't have it...
       
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    5. Tau
      Probing

      Tau Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2019-Concert, 2021-headphones/acoustic trauma at 110dB,16kHz
      Agree with most things, but headphones aren't inherently bad, just keep the volume low - it's very easy to turn the volume too high, so I usually say to increase it till it seems a bit loud and then set it to way below half of that. And in the majority of cases earplugs are not necessary for healthy ears if all you're doing is going to a restaurant to eat.

      Basically, protect against loud noises: power tools, concerts, clubs.

      I had minor tinnitus after a loud concert, I kept using headphones at low volumes and it went away in two years. I, of course, proceeded to injure my ears after that, but that's a different story.
       
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    6. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      This is just my opinion, but I don't think tinnitus (or hyperacusis) is what sets apart "healthy ears" from "compromised ears". I think one can compromise their ears long before tinnitus or hyperacusis manifest. Once we have tinnitus or hyperacusis, we can more easily distinguish further damage (i.e. through permanent spikes in tinnitus or hyperacusis), but a lot of damage can go down before that.

      I developed my tinnitus one year ago due to 80-90 dB noise that ran only for 15 minutes, that shouldn't have been damaging, but it was, and my ears were probably compromised before this. To reiterate; our society is just too noisy and our ears aren't made to handle noise made from traffic or crowded public places.

      If we wanted to prevent tinnitus before we got it, we should have used earplugs almost every day, but we didn't, and here we are. I think 70 dB is a good rule of thumb. But that's just my take.
       
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    7. Joeseph Stope
      Innocent

      Joeseph Stope Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1992
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise? infection? negative stress? other?
      Cha! All them years ago.

      I think first you would have to explain to the population what the word tinnitus means.

      Mind you, a book on how to prevent it getting worse might be very useful.

      One piece of advice I got was to go and live in a quiet town or village -- but then most of us have to earn a living and living "far from the madding crowd" isn't an available option. You go where the jobs are, I guess.

      When I got it first in the early nineties, the word Tinnitus had been newly coined a year or two before.
      Small wonder that I had never heard of it. It was known then as "Ringing in the Ears".
       
    8. Exit

      Exit Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      @Stacken77 gave good advice but I don’t think you should wear earplugs just for going outside to work etc. And not sleep with them either! I’ve heard some horror stories here from people getting tinnitus from stuff like thinking about it or going to very silent yoga classes :D

      Since you’re an anxious person that sounds like a very bad idea.

      Protect from loud noises, barotrauma and don’t go parachuting. You don’t sound like that type anyway :D

      I rather clean my ears twice a week myself than letting a doctor do it...

      Water or a soft q-tip is okay.

      If you like swimming twice a month I’d say your ears will clean themselves.
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Tomas Ku

      Tomas Ku Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      not full yet
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      will see
      I actually sleep with earplugs every night. I've been doing this for many years and I even asked the doctor if it's a problem - he said it shouldn't be a problem but it could make already existing tinnitus more noticeable since it blocks the natural noise. I use the earplugs because I live at dorms and it gets very noisy here at nights.
       
    10. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      It shouldn't be an issue really. There are many who sleep with earplugs.
       
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    11. Exit

      Exit Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      If you get regular noise from the dorm 24/7 penetrating your earplugs, then you probably will be okay.

      But I would be cautious.

      If you do it just to not being waken up, then I would not...

      If they can get really uncomfortably loud with the noise, then you should use them.

      Just my 2 cents.
       
    12. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      What’s wrong with sleeping with earplugs?
       
    13. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      Also not everyone is genetically predisposed to tinnitus. My dad is deaf from the army but no tinnitus.
       
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    14. Exit

      Exit Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      You clearly aren’t spending enough time on here :) :eek: :oops: :rolleyes: :)

      Haven’t you heard the stories from people hysterical about noise, living extremely quiet (boring?) lives, sleeping with earplugs and waking up to tinnitus...?

      If your ears are healthy, why risk it just because it’s annoying to get woken up by the milk man? :)
       
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    15. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      That is not strictly true I'm afraid. Anyone that blast their ears with loud music or sounds regularly will develop tinnitus. It maybe at such a low level for a while they aren't aware of it because the brain can easily ignore it. Be in no doubt the tinnitus is there. During the day it will be masked by sounds in the environment and for this reason the person won't hear it. However, late at night or in a quiet room, if they were to listen for the tinnitus they will hear it.

      If the person continues to subject themselves to loud sounds or loud music. Listen to audio at high volume levels through headphones, earbuds, AirPods or headsets, eventually the tinnitus will make itself known.

      The most common cause of tinnitus is exposure to loud noise. The best way for a person to avoid getting tinnitus from loud noise, is not to subject themselves to it. If they use any type of headphones keep the volume as low as possible. Give the ears a rest and try not to use them too often.

      Michael.
       
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    16. DimLeb

      DimLeb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic Cochleopathy or Maybe Loud Music
      @Michael Leigh, I highly doubt that everyone gets tinnitus. If that was the case, then a lot more people from the music industry, construction, military etc would have it bad, and so it'd be a lot more widespread than just 1/7 of people, and so a lot more attention would be given to actually treat it/warn people about it/protect against it.

      I believe it's genetics that make someone predisposed to it. Or else we could easily explain why so many people with hearing loss or deafness don't necessarily have it.

      For example, my best female friend got a serious sudden sensorineural hearing loss in one ear 10 years ago and she got no tinnitus whatsoever. Also, being a musician myself, any of my musician friends that we were playing or going to gigs together (for over a decade) that I asked, told me that they had no idea what tinnitus even was.

      We simply don't know why it happens, how its mechanics work, etc and the medical science around it is still so far behind.
       
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    17. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Goodbye and I wish you well.

      Michael
       
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    18. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      There are many who are exposed to extreme levels of sound and do not develop tinnitus. My father who's a hunter have shot many rounds without hearing protection, mostly in the heat of the moment when he didn't have time to put on his ear muffs. He has gained quite some hearing loss because of this. Coincidentally so, tinnitus does not run in his side of the family.
      I completely agree with this, as I believe genetic predisposition is a major factor in development of tinnitus. I have tinnitus three generations back on my mother's side for example.
      I still don't fully agree with this. In those that are predisposed to develop tinnitus, noise, medications, colds e.t.c. are the major factors that contribute to its onset. If those that are predisposed try to avoid those things, I think one can at least postpone the development of tinnitus for a number of years although it may develop later in life due to age related hearing loss for example. I developed tinnitus from acoustic trauma, had I not suffered that acoustic trauma, or better yet, had I used ear plugs more diligently before this, I have a very hard time believing I would have developed tinnitus anytime soon.

      Just my 2 cents,
      Stacken
       
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    19. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      It is sustained exposure to loud noise or listening to music at too high a volume through headphones, earbuds, AirPods or headsets regularly that causes tinnitus. Although some people can develop tinnitus from one loud noisy event, usually this is temporary. Some peoples tolerance to loud sounds are better than others.

      The fact is, regularly being exposed to loud noise causes tinnitus and has very little to do with genetics. Most of the people in tinnitus forums acquired their tinnitus by exposure to loud noise. Typically, it is from listening to audio through headphones at too high a volume and usually (not always) over a long period of time.

      People that have Meniere's and other medical conditions within the auditory system often have tinnitus. Some people with hearing loss also develop tinnitus. These conditions can also be linked to genetics. However, the most common cause of tinnitus is exposure to loud noise. You may not agree with this and you are entitled to your opinion as I am to mine.

      Michael
       
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    20. DimLeb

      DimLeb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic Cochleopathy or Maybe Loud Music
      @Stacken77, yeah I agree with that about protection if you somehow know that you are predisposed, but I think it's all so vague and random. I have read your posts man, and I truly admire you for dealing so well with this...

      I myself had endured a decade of noise exposure being a musician (gigs, rehearsals, whatever), with only using protection for like the last 5 years. I'm sure I had been exposed to dangerous levels all this time, since earplugs don't really give the protection they say.

      But tinnitus happened to me 1 and half years after my last gig, at a period of covid lockdown when I had been staying at home 90% of the time. No acoustic trauma, no medications, no cold, no big stress. No headphones for like a year also...

      I have hearing loss at like 14500 Hz and onwards and a few notches in both ears (27 years old), but it was always like that I think. Maybe tinnitus is from that. But my point is that all people have some kind of hearing loss and don't necessarily get tinnitus. Even my friend that got severe SSHL in one ear, doesn't have tinnitus. This is why I believe there are mechanics we don't know yet... Cochlea/brain pathologies we can't detect or understand for the cases with no definitive cause.
       
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    21. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Yeah I don’t know... My father-in-law hunts without hearing protection sometimes and blasts music at home parties... 0 tinnitus. He’s 60+.

      Some people just don’t get tinnitus.
       
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