Communication and Tinnitus

Have you noticed a constant ringing or buzzing in your ears? If so, you may be experiencing tinnitus. According to American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), 1/3 of all adults experience tinnitus throughout their lives with 1 in 10 people stating that tinnitus has significantly impacted their quality of life. 

What is Tinnitus?

According to British Tinnitus Association, tinnitus is the perception of “ringing, buzzing, hissing, or whistling that can be constant or intermittent and vary in volume”. While tinnitus is not a disease or an illness, it can often occur due to an underlying symptom. 

What Does Tinnitus Sound Like?

Tinnitus is often described as ringing or buzzing in the ears but can vary for each individual. While some may hear a loud, high pitch ringing, others may hear a whooshing or humming sound. Sounds can vary in pitch, loudness, and duration.

Risk Factors For Tinnitus

*60/60 Rule: Research suggests that listening to music over 60% volume without a 60 minute rest period can damage your hearing. 

Causes for Tinnitus

While the exact of cause of tinnitus remains unknown, many individuals often experience tinnitus as a symptom of an underlying condition. The following are possible causes of tinnitus:

How Can Caregivers Help With Tinntius?

According to a study published by American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), surveys were conducted and collected by individuals who experience tinnitus. Here are some recommendations that those with tinnitus felt would be most helpful and wish others knew.

  • Speak clearly (face to face)
  • Understand their problem of tinnitus
  • Be supportive and empathize 
  • Assist when individuals with tinnitus are unable to hear others 
  • Individuals with tinnitus expressed a dislike for silence and had a preference for background noise

Diet and Tinntius

A study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), conducted surveys and found that a “higher intake of vitamin B12 and dietary pattern factor 3 (high protein) was associated with reduced odds of tinnitus. Higher intakes of calcium, iron, and fat were associated with increased odds of tinnitus” (National Institutes of Health, 2020).

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