Living With Tinnitus: Prevention and Treatments
The wild success of Bradley Cooper’s, A Star is Born with Lady Gaga not only showed the world a story of love and talent but also dealt with tinnitus in a way that portrayed the real effects of the condition and how it can affect anybody. In the film, the main character played by Bradley Cooper, Jackson Maine, suffers from tinnitus. After years of playing music without proper protection or taking precautions, the singer-songwriter suffers from ringing in the ears. The hearing loss, as portrayed in the film, is likely the result of careless exposure to loud sounds. The ringing of the ears is caused by an interruption in the transmission of sound from the ears to the brain. Even though the character of Jackson Maine is fictional, his experience with tinnitus is familiar to about 50 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There is evidence that musicians are often common sufferers of the condition. In fact, they are about four times more likely to suffer from tinnitus. In the film, of course, the character of Jackson Maine has a bit of a problem with the medications he is given for the condition and refuses to take further steps to help the condition. This makes the condition worse thus prompting further anxiety and depression. Suffering from depression is actually not an uncommon occurrence to people who suffer from this often annoying ringing of the ears.
What is it like?
Often described as ringing, humming, whistling, or buzzing noises, tinnitus can be constant or happen in intervals. The sound is experienced and perceived only by the individual and can be quite bothersome to him or her. Many people experience this, especially those exposed to loud sounds frequently. Most people will suffer from subjective tinnitus, which means the noises are perceived only by the individual.
What are some of the effects of tinnitus?
In addition to this constant or periodic ringing of the ears, individuals who suffer from the condition can be affected in other ways, mostly indirectly. For many, the ringing is more of an irritant than it is something that causes them great anguish. The brain, for the most part, can suppress some of these sounds and the ringing falls into the background and can be largely ignored. And yet, for many people this sound can cause enough of a hindrance that it begins to bleed over to other aspects of life. People might suffer from a disruption in thoughts, inability to focus or concentrate, emotional issues, or depression linked to their condition.
Prevention — Preventing the Hearing Loss for High-Risk Individuals
High-risk people might include people whose job or career frequently exposes them to loud noises or are often exposed to this kind of stuff. If you are a musician, sound engineer, maybe work around loud engines, planes, or around firearms. Other professions that frequently suffer from tinnitus include:
- Flight crews
- Factory workers
- Ambulance drivers
- Bouncers and bartenders
If you are in any of these professions or another that puts you close to loud noises, be conscious of the consequences and attempt to practice good prevention. If you are going to be exposed to noises that are louder than 85 decibels, make sure to use ear protection. Take precaution and:
- Wear ear protection like earplugs
- Stay away from the speakers if possible
- If you listen to music with headphones, be careful of turning up the volume
How to Deal With Tinnitus
It is possible to have tinnitus and not be overly bothered by it. There are a couple of treatment options depending on the kind of tinnitus you have and the degree of seriousness. Tinnitus can be treated or dealt with through:
- Hearing aids
- Sound-masking devices
- Progressive tinnitus management
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
The American Tinnitus Association notes that most cases of tinnitus are caused by hearing loss— such as the one suffered from the fictional Jackson Maine in a Star is Born. It is also caused by disruptions to the auditory system and can sometimes be a symptom of problems with temporomandibular joints.
Other Notable People That Suffer from Tinnitus
The condition can affect anybody, even if they are not playing big venues. Many people in the entertainment business do suffer from tinnitus. Some notable names include Steve Martin and Whoopi Goldberg. Also, the famed guitarist and songwriter for the rock band The Who, Pete Townshend, also suffers from the condition. Another well-known musician includes Neil Young and Trent Reznor from the rock band Nine Inch Nails.
Get the Right Treatment For Tinnitus at Mission Hearing
Here at Mission Hearing, we help people that suffer from tinnitus. With state of the art facilities and technology, we can find the right type of treatment for your condition.