Tinnitus is not a disease; it is an indicator of an abnormal function of the ear. It is common to those people who are exposed to loud noise. Tinnitus is not a cause of hearing loss but can be an indicator of nearly damaging auditory system.
The longer you are exposed to loud noise, the higher the risk of getting chronic tinnitus and hearing loss. To prevent that from happening, use proper hearing protection every time you will be exposed to loud noise especially if there is some hearing loss or tinnitus already present.
The main function of hearing protectors is to block the outer sound from entering the ear but it won’t totally block all sounds from getting through. Instead, it filters out more the high pitches that alter the sounds quality. Also, when you are wearing hearing protector, the sound inside your head seems different to you. Your voice changes and the body sounds become fuller, hollow and soft. That sound is what we call occlusion effect.
There are several types of hearing protectors, with many styles and colors to choose from such as roll-down or traditional foam earplugs, push-to-fit foam earplugs, flanged or pre-molded earplugs, banded earplugs or concha seated and semi-aural, custom made earplugs and earmuffs. You have to choose what is right for you. To ensure that you have the right one, it should be consistently comfortable to wear. While blocking the sounds, make sure it doesn’t irritate your ear while wearing it.
People are using hearing protection for many reasons and in many circumstances such as teachers who are exposed to children’s noise from screaming, police officer while shooting firearms, construction workers with jackhammer, miners doing mining explosions, doing aircraft maintenance, or even during New Year while watching firecrackers. Some of these situations or instances require hearing protection to reduce or to lessen the unwanted level of noise. Limiting the noise with hearing protection makes the tinnitus seem more obvious. If you are exposed to hazardous noise on the job, your employer must provide annual hearing exam to identify those employees who have or might indicate tinnitus.
There are occupations with high risk of developing in this condition due to exposure to noise like the police officers, firefighters, factory workers, miners, farmers, construction workers, military personnel, heavy Industrial workers, office staff in crowded building, musicians, teachers, and entertainment industry professionals.
Having suitable hearing protection for different listening situations is also useful. Earplugs are convenient to carry because it is lightweight, small, and easy to store in travel bag or even in pocket. You can also bring an extra pair or more for someone else who need it. After all, replacing earplugs are much easier than replacing your hearing!