Tips to avoid tinnitus

One in seven Australians suffer from tinnitus and unfortunately there is no cure. But there are things you can do to protect your hearing and avoid this condition.

December 1, 2023

Tinnitus is when you experience noise or  ringing in your ears or head when no physical noise is present. It's a symptom of a problem in your auditory system.  

Common sounds associated with tinnitus include:

  • Ringing

  • Buzzing

  • Whistling

  • Roaring

  • Humming

Causes can include:
  • Hearing loss

  • A build-up of ear wax

  • Exposure to loud noise

  • Ear infections or inflammation

  • Problems with the inner ear

  • Some medicines

  • Head injuries

Preventing tinnitus

  • Don't stand near the speakers when listening to live music.

  • Use noise-cancelling headphones to listen to music and keep the volume as low as you can. Also, take regular breaks of at least 5 minutes every hour to give your ears a rest.

  • If you are in a noisy environment, regularly find a quieter spot to give your ears a rest.

  • Try to reduce your stress levels – sometimes tinnitus starts when you are anxious or stressed.

  • If you use earplugs or hearing aids, keep them clean, and avoid sticking things in your ears (such as cotton buds). These can all cause infections, which can cause tinnitus.

  • Use earplugs if you are going to be exposed to loud sounds over 85 decibels. 

Different noises and their loudness:

  • A quiet library: 40 decibels

  • Ordinary spoken conversation: 60 decibels

  • A food blender: 85 decibels

  • A nightclub: 100 decibels

  • A live concert: 110 decibels

Always speak to a hearing or medical professional if you are concerned about tinnitus or your hearing.

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