When people are young, they are more willing to take risks. Sometimes the consequences of these opportunities are far into the future and therefore don’t seem as real or relevant. It couldn’t be truer than treating the ears. Young people think their ears are indestructible, and although one day they will be affected by loud concerts, loud headphones and loud computer games, the day still seems far away. Many base their ear-damaging behavior on the fact that many adults experience some type of hearing loss as they get older, and that there are probably things they don’t want to hear anyway. However, the reality is that misuse of the ears doesn’t just lead to hearing loss. It can lead to other conditions as well. These conditions can appear as early as the thirties and persist for the rest of life. Tinnitus and reduced sound tolerance are two examples.
Most people have had tinnitus. Whether or not you leave a noisy rock concert after mowing the lawn, longer exposure to loud noises alters the perception of sounds in the head and / or ears. If an external sound is heard after removing the loud sound, the result is so-called subjective tinnitus or “ringing” in the ears. After a few hours or in some extreme cases after a few days, tinnitus usually goes away. For some adults, however, hearing problems like this never go away completely. If the brain fixes itself on internal signals, the problem can get worse and affect a person’s hearing. The main problems are probably focusing on a speaker in a busy environment, talking on the phone, and listening to a speaker remotely. While most people experience some degree of tinnitus at some point in their life, it is not normal for this condition to last longer than a few days. Anyone affected or living with tinnitus should immediately see an audiologist for a hearing test.
As with tinnitus, reduced sound tolerance occurs immediately after exposure to loud sound. The way the brain processes sound is somewhat altered, and loud noises can be extremely uncomfortable, but even low noises can be painful. It is common for a person to have tinnitus symptoms and reduced sound tolerance. Both conditions can be treatable and can be associated with general hearing loss. There are different forms of treatment, and some are as simple as avoiding silence by constantly playing music or using a sound machine to sleep. Other treatments treat the actual loss like hearing aids.
If you are concerned about your ears and tinnitus, or a reduced sound tolerance affecting your life, it is a good idea to see an audiologist or doctor immediately. Recognizing the specific type of problem can lead you to find a quick way to fix it, or at least find a way to fix it. You don’t have to suffer in silence when it comes to your hearing!