Standing next to a speaker at a concert may mean you have a great view of the band, but it is also a guarantee that you’ll wake up the next day with a ringing in the ear. This is known as tinnitus, which occurs when you damage the small hair cells within the inner ear. Understanding what causes tinnitus can help you prevent it in the future.
Tinnitus is the perception of hearing noises, usually presenting as a ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, hissing or humming. These noises may vary in pitch and be present all the time or come and go. Some report tinnitus so severe that it interferes with their ability to concentrate or hear other sounds.
Tinnitus is a symptom of a number of conditions, such as chronic health problems, injuries or blood vessel disorders. The most common cause of tinnitus is damage to the inner ear caused by exposure to loud noises.
The tiny hair cells within the inner ear move when they come into contact with a soundwave. When the hair is triggered, it sends an electric signal through the auditory nerve to the brain, where it is interpreted as sound. When the hair cells become damaged, they can “leak” random electrical impulses to the brain, causing the sensation of tinnitus.
Stopping the Ringing after Exposure
While tinnitus caused by a loud concert cannot be cured, there are some things you can do to alleviate the ringing in the ear and the stress that comes along with it.
Play White Noise
White noise and other relaxing ambient sounds can help mask the ringing in your ears. There are a number of free playlists and videos online.
Try diverting your attention away from your tinnitus by listening to a podcast or some quiet music. Remember to only listen at a safe volume to prevent damaging your ears any further.
Stress commonly accompanies tinnitus. Try yoga or meditation to clear your mind and remove any extra stress. There are plenty of free meditation apps to help you get started.
Using Hearing Protection
The best way to treat your tinnitus after a loud night out? Prevent it from happening in the first place. Audiology Center Northwest offers custom earplugs designed to fit your ear and provide superior protection.
Contact the experts at Audiology Center Northwest to learn more about protecting your hearing and treating tinnitus. Schedule your appointment today.