Week of Tinnitus

The upcoming week is the Week of Tinnitus, quite strange for those who experience a ringing, buzzing, or humming sound in their ears, as it is present 24/7. Tinnitus, indeed… you wouldn’t want it. Once you have it, getting rid of it is quite a challenge, as it’s a nasty little annoying injury.

To start with, it’s crucial to protect your ears by wearing earplugs to prevent any damage. However, for years, we’ve seen a significant portion of our customers first encountering hearing problems, then becoming so alarmed that they immediately start using hearing protection and regret not doing so earlier.

The well-known ringing in the ear is called tinnitus and comes in many forms. The ringing can sound like a hum, buzz, or high-pitched tone. Unfortunately, you can’t turn off this ringing, and it’s a matter of habituation and acceptance. Yet, it’s essential to clarify a few points first: what are the causes? Sound trauma, stress, overexertion, impact, inflammation, medication…

What to do if you have ringing in the ear, day 1, 2 & 3?

Day 1you wake up with ringing in your ear – This is a sign that you’ve strained your ears. Make sure to give your ears rest for the next 24/48 hours, and fingers crossed it will be gone by tomorrow. Ringing is a signal of hearing damage; next time, start wearing earplugs.

Day 2nope, the ringing is still there – Don’t panic, make sure to rest, avoid noise and stress, take a break, and try not to dwell on it too much. If you struggle to ignore the ringing, softly turn on the radio, preferably classical music.

Day 3ringing is still there – Now it’s time to call your GP and ask for a referral to an ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) specialist. Don’t let them fob you off with eardrops, “let’s wait and see,” or “unfortunately, there’s nothing to be done.” An ENT specialist can conduct a proper ear test and, if applicable, provide treatment with medication. Note: this should be done within two weeks, the sooner, the better.

After three weeksdarn, the ringing is still there – now it’s getting tricky, and you’ll need to speak with a specialist. Don’t panic, tinnitus is annoying, but over time, it will lessen, and you’ll get used to it. But for now… never leave the house without earplugs again; you can’t risk making your tinnitus worse.

Tinnitus is common and is activated by the brain due to a neurological disturbance; the hair cells in the cochlea of the ear don’t function properly, and the brain compensates for this defect by creating a ringing, buzzing, or humming sound. If you have an overexertion, it’s essential to visit an ENT specialist within 14-21 days; perhaps something can still be regenerated with medication.

Once you have tinnitus, it’s crucial never to go out without earplugs. Prevent the ringing from becoming worse or more tonal, so always protect your ears from overexertion. The ear is essential in our daily lives, for directional sensitivity, communication, and balance, making it crucial to handle it well and with care. During the Week of Tinnitus, there are various meet-ups where you can ask questions and receive information from doctors and experts. At our office in Rotterdam, you can make an appointment for a Tinnitus consultation or have your earplugs tested.

Peter van Galen