What is tinnitus? About ear whistling and hearing loss...

What is tinnitus? About ear whistling and hearing loss...

What is tinnitus?

People who spend a lot of time in noisy environments and do not protect themselves with good, professional hearing protection run the risk of developing tinnitus at some point in their lives. But what exactly is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is not so much a disease. At least it has nothing to do with viruses or bacteria. Rather, it is a decrease in hearing performance in combination with permanent ringing in the ears. Tinnitus comes from Latin and means "ringing in the ear". But how does this tinnitus develop? First of all, you have to understand how hearing actually works. Sound waves travel through the ear, through the auditory canal and into the inner ear. This is where small hair cells are located, which are vibrated by the sound waves. This in turn generates signals that are then sent to the brain. Of course, this is a very simplified explanation, but it works in exactly the same way. Too loud a sound causes the hair cells to vibrate and, in extreme cases, they can break or be damaged.

Hair cells in the ear are irreversible in humans, i.e. the body is not able to repair these cells. As a result, once hairs are broken, they are lost forever. When a person is born, they usually have 100% hearing. Over the years, this hearing capacity can slowly be lost due to loud noises such as music or construction machinery.

Of course, this is not immediately noticeable. Over time, however, with increasing age or constantly noisy surroundings, hearing loss can occur. Hearing loss is not only manifested by the fact that one's hearing is worse and that it is difficult to perceive one's surroundings acoustically. Rather, tinnitus refers to noises in the ear that are permanently present without external stimuli.

Concertgoers can tell you a thing or two about it. Who hasn't experienced it: after a 2-hour concert, your ears are ringing. Afterwards, the ears are really dull, as if numbed, and you hear a continuous tone. In most cases, this sound goes away and everything seems fine the next day. However, too much noise can cause the hair cells in the ear to break off rather than rebuild. The more of these hair cells that break, the more likely you are to get a continuous sound in your ear - and that is tinnitus. This sound can be perceived in different ways. The sound can be perceived as a buzzing, whistling, hissing, beeping, Morse tone or all of these.

Tinnitus is defined in 4 degrees of severity:

Grade 1: Ringing in the ears is present, but does not bother the person affected.
Grade 2: Ringing in the ears is present, clearly perceptible and can become increasingly burdensome depending on the situation.
Grade 3: permanent impairment of quality of life
Grade 4: severe impairment of everyday life

So you can see that tinnitus is not something to be taken lightly. People who suffer from Grade 4 can often only live with it to a limited extent. There have even been cases of suicide due to the constant sounds that accompany you 24 hours a day.

What can I do about it?

First of all, it is important to know what noise can do to the ear. It's a bit like brushing your teeth. If you don't brush your teeth, probably nothing much will happen at first. But the longer you do it, the more tooth decay or periodontal disease develops. You get bad teeth, toothache and have to go to the dentist. Here, at the latest, you think to yourself "I should have brushed my teeth better"! It is the same with the ears. If you don't protect your ears when you're in a noisy environment, probably nothing much will happen at first. In the course of time, however, your hearing gets worse, the tinnitus gets stronger and at some point you think to yourself "I should have used hearing protection"!

Of course, we don't want to scare anyone here, but simply point out facts that speak for professional hearing protection. Today's hearing protection is a high-tech product! There are many different hearing protection products for many areas of application. Whether earmuffs for loud to very loud environments, earplugs and earplugs with extra filters for music or silicone and wax hearing protection. Each product has its own area of application.

Examples of use for hearing protection:
Construction site, industry, home & garden, school, university, education, reading, holiday, swimming, motorbike, sailing, aeroplane, sleeping, snoring and many more.

This short list shows how many different hearing protection products there are. There is no such thing as ONE hearing protector. Rather, you will find an optimised product for every everyday situation. KiddyPlugs helps you to find the right hearing protection. We are always at your disposal with help and advice.

A noise scale, explanations of decibels and comparative values can be found in this article: CLICK HERE 

What are the areas of application?

Hearing protection SCHOOL & UNI
Promotes concentration and learning

Hearing protection SPORTS
For sporting events, such as football, motor sports, etc.

Hearing protection SWIMMING
Prevents water from entering the ear

Hearing protection LEISURE TIME
For motorcyclists, sailors, water sports

Hearing protections AIRPLANE
Helps equalise pressure during take-off or landing

Hearing protection plugs SLEEPING
Helps you fall asleep and stay asleep on holiday, in a hotel or when snoring

Hearing protection MUSIC
Protects the ears and maintains music enjoyment with special filters

Hearing protection CHILDREN
Extra for children - home, garden, school, education and much more.

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