What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus (pronounced \tin-night'-us or tin'-it-us\) is ringing
in the ears that often follows loud noise exposure. You may
notice this after a concert or dance. The show is over, but
there's a ringing in your ears. For some people, tinnitus
is only temporary. It's frustrating but doesn'tlast. However.
It can become permanent.
What To Do if You Have Tinnitus.
If you hear buzzing or ringing, see an ear specialist (ENT)
or an audiologist. They can determine whether or not you've
got a problem, and may have some helpful suggestions. But
there's NO CURE for tinnitus. But you can do some things to
make sure your condition doesn't get any worse.
- Get an examination by a ear specialist.
- Get a hearing test by an audiologist.
- Avoid alcohol, recreational drugs, caffeine,and
nicotine. They can ╩aggravate tinnitus. Though aspirin and
certain antibiotics can worsen tinnitus, your
doctor can help you regulate the dose to minimize side effects.
- Avoid exposure to high sound levels. Sound
levels at in dance clubs can be as high as 115 decibels,
which can cause damage in a few seconds.
- Wear earplugs! We can't stress this enough.
If you play music, dance a lot or work in a club, consider
getting custom earplugs for music attenuation
to protect your hearing without distorting sound (contact
www.hearnet.com for hearing help).
- Give your ears a 10-30 minute break in a
quiet area away from the dance floor or arena.
- Get adequate rest and try sleeping with your
head elevated to reduce head congestion.
- Many masking devices are available that produce
soothing sounds, which can help you sleep.
- Exercise and eat healthy foods.
- Drink plenty of water. Overheating and dehydration
can aggravate tinnitus.
- Reduce stress and fatigue in your daily life.
It can aggravate tinnitus,too. Smile! A possitive attitude
helps. Don't be afraid to talk to family and
friends so they can appreciate the scope of your problem.
If you are depressed or suffer
from anxiety over tinnitus, seek help.
Tinnitus isn't normally accompanied by ear pain. If your
ears hurt, see ╩╩an ear specialist immediately. Other causes
of tinnitus besides noise exposure include ototoxic drugs,
wax buildup in the ear, allergies, ear or sinus infection,
congestion, jaw or bite misalignment (TMJ disorder),cardiovascular
disease, Meniere's disease, a tumor on the auditory nerve,
otosclerosis, underactive thyroid, and head or neck trauma.
Treatment Therapies Various therapies that have proven helpful
in coping with tinnitus include counseling, behavioral modeling,Cognitive
therapy, Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT), drug therapy,
biofeedback, hypnosis, acupuncture therapy, dental treatment
for jaw problems may prove effective for some people, patient
education and support groups.
Also don't forget to check out:
American Tinnitus Association www.ata.org
The American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
The American Academy of Audiology www.audiology.com
H.E.A.R. (Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers) and
Ravers is a nonprofit hearing health organization dedicated
to the prevention of hearing loss and tinnitus among musicians,
Djs and music fans (especially teens.) H.E.A.R. PO Box 460847
San Francisco, CA 94115 415-773-9590 www.hearnet.com . You can help support
H.E.A.R. by volunteering, donating or linking to our web site
Please feel free to download this information for your use.
© H.E.A.R. 2002