How to Stop Ringing in Ears After Concert
Concerts have been an exciting and interactive way to hear our favorite music for generations, but there are ways loud concert sounds can cause some problems with our hearing. From tinnitus to noise-induced hearing loss, the level of noise at an average concert can cause temporary issues and even permanent damage if exposed repeatedly. So what can you do to help treat or prevent temporary tinnitus or chronic tinnitus from loud noise after a concert?
What is Tinnitus?
Temporary or permanent tinnitus is characterized by ringing or buzzing sounds in one or both ears. This ringing can sometimes accompany an increase in hearing loss. While these symptoms are both frustrating and irritating, they can also be painful when ringing creates hypersensitivity to external sounds. Beyond the pain, tinnitus can also cause a heightened stress level as the buzzing noise isn’t caused by any real factor in the environment and others cannot hear it. Luckily, there are some ways to help lessen the effects of this condition and prevent tinnitus symptoms.
In some cases, tinnitus comes in a pulsing pattern as opposed to a constant noise in the ear canal. This pulse often waves in time with your heartbeat. In this rare case, a doctor may be able to hear the ringing during an examination of the ear.
Causes of Tinnitus
Chronic tinnitus, or even just a temporary case that goes away in a few hours, can have a range of causes. Some common causes include over exposure to some medications, ear infection or ear obstruction, head injury, or some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss can be both a cause of tinnitus and an accompanying symptom.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
One of the most common causes of tinnitus is sudden or continued exposure to unsafe noise levels. This can cause noise-induced hearing loss and ringing in the ear symptoms. But what noise level is unsafe? Well, sound volume is calculated using a method of measurement called Decibels. A normal conversation with a friend will come in at about 60 decibels. A rock concert typically puts out about 120 decibels. Hearing experts have found that prolonged exposure to loud sounds over 70 decibels can cause long-term hearing loss over time and sudden sounds over 120 decibels can have immediate effects on normal hearing.
This noise induced form of tinnitus is often caused by exposure to environmental sounds above the healthy decibel level. While the occasional concert at unsafe noise levels might have your ears ringing for a couple of hours, a concert aficionado attending all kinds of concerts regularly might experience constant ringing and some serious damage to their ears after exposure.
Preventable Hearing Loss
While there may not be a cure for hearing loss, there are ways you can mediate your risk for tinnitus when you know you’ll be exposed to constant sound at a high decibel. Prepare ahead when entering a risky sound environment and take a proactive role in keeping your ears safe from loud sounds.
- Hearing Protection: If you attend concerts regularly or you work in a noisy environment, invest in some custom earplugs or noise-cancelling headgear. While sounds might still be above the safe decibel level, you can protect your ears from the impact and lessen the intensity of noise. This allows you to still enjoy your favorite activities without suffering some of the negative consequences.
- Ear and Hearing Care: Just like any other part of the body, the ears should be regularly checked by a healthcare professional. Get regular hearing tests and hearing screening to maintain your hearing health and help to catch the risk of tinnitus before it become chronic.
- Reduce Strain: Outside those exciting rock concert moments, reduce the strain on your ears during everyday life. When listening to the radio or tv, stay away from the maximum volume. With those quieter sounds, invest in hearing aids if your doctor prescribes them. These hearing devices will make hearing every day sound easier for your ears without having to strain during conversation.
- Healthy Lifestyle: Believe it or not, healthy blood flow in the body can help to prevent or reduce tinnitus. Promote the blood flow your body needs by getting regular exercise, limiting alcohol and drug use, and eating a balanced diet.
How to Treat Tinnitus
How can we make the ringing stop? This will all depend on the cause of your tinnitus and the severity.
- Wait It Out: In most cases, ringing in the ears after a sudden exposure to loud noise will go away on its own within a few hours or days. The intensity of the noise and the duration of exposure will most likely determine how long it takes for the ears to stop ringing.
- Stay Quiet: Give your ears a break. After intense noise exposure, your inner ear is trying to recover and heal. Making sure you keep to a low decibel environment for a while.
- See a Doctor: If your tinnitus symptoms don’t seem to be getting any better, make sure to give your hearing health professional a call.
- Hearing Aids: Some tinnitus symptoms are made worse by ear strain. Hearing aids for hearing loss or issues can lessen the strain and reduce symptoms.
- Masking Aids: In addition to amplifying sound, some hearing aids have improved features with noise masking abilities. They can block out ambient noise in the environment and help to lessen inner ear ringing.
- White Noise: While not a treatment, white noise can help reduce the symptoms of tinnitus. White noise can help with sleep quality and reduce severity of ringing.
While tinnitus might not have a total cure, there are ways you can help to prevent ear damage and reduce the symptoms of tinnitus when they occur.