Advice during Tinnitus Awareness Week
To coincide with Tinnitus Awareness Week which runs until Sunday, 12 February, a leading audiologist is offering sound advice on how to prevent the common condition, which affects 45,000 people in Ireland.*
Tinnitus is the perception of noise in the ears, commonly described as ringing, buzzing, whistling or hissing. Most people experience some form of tinnitus in their lifetime, such as after a loud concert, but for most people the effects are temporary. However, for others it is a permanent feature of everyday life and can induce depression, anxiety, stress and sleep deprivation.
The most common causes of tinnitus are age-related hearing loss and prolonged exposure to loud noise, which explains why many musicians such as Will.i.am, Chris Martin, Barbara Streisand and Neil Young suffer from the condition.
Regular hearing examinations
Specsavers audiologist Jeff Walbran said: ‘Many people who suffer from tinnitus also have hearing difficulties and in this instance hearing aids can help control the problem. For this reason, we would advise individuals with tinnitus to have regular hearing examinations.
People can also reduce the risk of getting tinnitus by following these simple steps:
* Limit or avoid exposure to loud noises, such as music, power tools and industrial machinery
* Wear protective earplugs or earmuffs if you cannot avoid loud noises
* If other people can clearly hear the music you are listening to when you are using headphones, the volume is too high
* Limit the amount of alcoholic and caffeinated drinks you consume
* Give up smoking. Nicotine reduces blood flow to the ear so can make tinnitus worse
* Regular exercise improves blood flow so can help protect against tinnitus.’
* Irish Tinnitus Association