Understanding tinnitus is the first step on knowing exactly what it is, how it affects the person who has tinnitus and why it plays an important part on understanding what may be going on in our body. Tinnitus can take a toll on one’s lifestyle and day to day routine. Sometimes it can be a minor annoyance while other times it can worsen to become something much greater. Everyone is at risk of developing tinnitus and those who are constantly around certain environments or have specific health conditions are at a greater risk of developing tinnitus.
Many entertainers, such as Will.i.Am (Black Eye Peas), Eric Clapton, Chris Martin (Coldplay) and James Hetfield (Metallica) have battled with tinnitus that have most likely been due to their careers of being constantly around an atmosphere with loud noises. In Eric Clapton’s case, he has announced having tinnitus and is going deaf. Tinnitus is an indication there is a problem in the ear; this is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong, and tinnitus is a signal to your body that allows you to be aware of your current condition and gives you a chance to address it before it worsens over time.
Despite hearing ringing, buzzing, whistling, humming, clicking, whooshing, roaring or any other noise, tinnitus is not a sound at all! Sounds are from airwaves that push on the eardrums and send out electrical signals to your brain, while tinnitus is from irregular electrical activity in the brain. There are many who do not know tinnitus even exists until they experience the symptoms and wonder what’s going on.
How Life Changes with Tinnitus
It is important that when learning about tinnitus you take time in understanding tinnitus in those who are affected and live with it. Tinnitus is not easy to live with and can affect a person’s daily life. Tinnitus can bring about discomfort and reduce a person’s ability to focus. Sounds that result from having tinnitus can be heard consistently every day and appear louder as it worsens, making some feel as if they are slowly going insane or become fearful over the thought of having an even more serious medical condition. Since tinnitus is a silent condition to where only the sufferer hears it, many people who do not have tinnitus may overlook the condition as not being such a problem and the sufferer often feels alone. Those who are diagnosed with depression may have an increased risk of developing suicidal thoughts if they are also diagnosed with tinnitus as the stress of depression does increase the severity of tinnitus and makes it extremely challenging – with reports of those who can no longer sleep because of the loud noise.
The lack of control one has over their tinnitus symptoms can result in the sufferer to experience fear which intensifies the issue. With an estimation of 40 to 50 million Americans suffering from tinnitus, about 2 million are incredibly hampered by it that they are unable to function on a normal day-to-day basis. Daily things such as stress, lack of challenging or meaningful activities, unemployment, lack of sleep and quiet time can cause the sufferer to pay more attention to their tinnitus – making it more of an issue. Since the sound happens inside the head and not from an external factor, it’s very difficult to tune it out.
A change in emotional reactions are another way a sufferer’s life changes with tinnitus. The sound can at first be extremely distracting and as it continues can turn into an annoyance. Those who live with the persistent sound can become frustrated, worried and angry with some reports of it triggering anxiety and depression. Simple things such as reading, writing, studying, problem-solving or learning can become challenging and because of the noise indirectly affecting the way a sufferer may hear things, tinnitus can affect their ability to communicate with others.
Temporary Tinnitus vs Permanent Tinnitus
Tinnitus itself is usually not serious but is a symptom of an underlying condition. Because of this, there is a large range of health issues tinnitus can be associated with. Sometimes tinnitus can be a symptom that only appears for a short amount of time (temporary tinnitus) before it disappears, this usually happens after concerts or other events around a lot of loud noise. When tinnitus occurs often or consistently, a check up with a professional is recommended.
Knowing the different causes of temporary tinnitus vs permanent tinnitus and the signs of temporary tinnitus vs permanent tinnitus will help you understand when you should seek out help or how to take precautions to help prevent tinnitus as temporary tinnitus could eventually lead to permanent tinnitus. The difference between what causes temporary tinnitus and what causes permanent tinnitus varies and could be either sudden or gradual.
Conditions Associated with Tinnitus
There are quite a range of conditions are associated with tinnitus. Some conditions are less serious than others but because the range of conditions associated with tinnitus vary, it is best to seek out a professional when you begin to have reoccurring symptoms of tinnitus. Remember, tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying condition so when your body sends you these signals that something in the body is not right, it is best to play it safe as the condition associated with tinnitus could be fully healed or improved faster in the early stages.
What Makes Tinnitus Worse?
Believe it or not, there are simple things that can make tinnitus worse. Making small changes from daily things that are known to make tinnitus worse can allow some type of relief. If you or a loved one lives with tinnitus, there are a few things that could help stop the tinnitus from feeling worse while you are undergoing a treatment or waiting on a treatment to begin. From diet to daily activities, understanding what can make tinnitus worse will help you or a loved one who has tinnitus feel a little more at ease.