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Can Ear Protection Cause Tinnitus

Are you interested in finding out more about tinnitus? 

Does wearing ear protection increase the risk of tinnitus? Ear protection protects your ears from loud noises like fireworks and gunfire, so it’s important that you wear it when you are around loud sounds.

People who work in noisy industries, such as construction, mining and factory workers, may be at a higher risk for developing tinnitus.  This is because they are exposed to potentially damaging noise levels for long periods of time.

If you want to know more, then keep reading!

Ear Protection and Tinnitus

A common question that people ask is if wearing ear protection can cause tinnitus. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the relationship between hearing loss and tinnitus.

  • Can wearing ear protection lead to an increase in tinnitus?
  • Is there a correlation between symptoms of tinnitus and risk for hearing loss?
  • How does noise exposure affect risk for both hearing loss and tinnitus?

The article talks about how wearing ear protection can lead to an increase in tinnitus, is there a correlation between symptoms of tinnitus and risk for hearing loss, and how does noise exposure affect risk for both hearing loss and tinnitus.

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Should you wear earplugs if you do not have tinnitus?

Yes, you should wear earplugs if you have a high risk of noise exposure. Earplugs are worn to reduce noise exposure. The most important thing is to work to identify and avoid the sources of noise in your environment.

Earplugs can't get rid of all the noise, but there are times when they can help you be protected from hazardous noise exposure, such as loud live music events or firearms at a shooting range. Using ear plugs prior to attending an outdoor concert or going shooting will reduce tinnitus symptoms and the risk for tinnitus associated hearing loss.

Noise exposure is a major cause of tinnitus, especially with repetitive strong sounds (such as pistol shots) that occur over long periods of time.

Should you wear earplugs if you have tinnitus?

If you have tinnitus, do not wear earplugs that make it more difficult to hear, Unless exposed to loud noises, because this will only make your tinnitus worse. It is best to avoid noise exposure when you have tinnitus.

The main precaution for prevention of tinnitus is to avoid noise exposure (both loud sounds and extended loud sounds). It is important to wear earplugs when you are exposed to noise that can potentially lead to hearing loss.

Earplugs are often recommended for people with tinnitus because they reduce the level of annoyance associated with tinnitus such as ringing in the ears, phantom noises, and pulsating noises. Earplugs are also used to help minimize the symptoms of tinnitus, such as hypersensitivity to sound, insomnia, or concentration difficulties.

Therefore individuals with noise-induced hearing loss should use earplugs for at least thirty minutes before listening to a loud sound.

Why do I get tinnitus when wearing ear plugs?

If you get tinnitus when wearing ear plugs it is probably from Impacted ear wax. Tinnitus can also occur when you have impacted ear wax impeding the Eustachian tube of your ear. That is the tube that allows a vacuum to form in your ear when you swallow or yawn.

To remove impacted ear wax , try using a cotton swab soaked in warm olive oil, and gently push it into the ear canal. To prevent it in the future, you will need to go to your doctor for a simple procedure to clear your ears entirely.


Will wearing ear plugs make my tinnitus worse?

No. In fact, in some cases wearing ear plugs can block out other noises and you may not even hear your tinnitus. You do not want to lose your hearing protection if this occurs.

One of the most important things a person can do to reduce the effects of tinnitus is to reduce or eliminate noise exposure. Earplugs are often recommended for people with tinnitus because they reduce the level of annoyance associated with tinnitus such as ringing in the ears, phantom noises, and pulsating noises. Earplugs are also used to help minimize the symptoms of tinnitus, such as hypersensitivity to sound, insomnia, or concentration difficulties.


How far in should ear plugs go?

Just far enough to block sound, most people put earplugs in to far. The best thing to do is to put them in and then take them out. If no sound comes in then, you have them in far enough.

So, if you take your earplugs out and you hear some noise, then it means that they are not far enough in and if no sound comes from your earplugs, then you have them too far in.


Is it bad to wear earplugs every night?

No, most people who suffer from tinnitus will find that wearing earplugs every night helps minimize the symptoms from the tinnitus. There are some side effects which include pushing earwax back in the ear. This will cause your ears to feel clogged and you will eventually need to see a doctor.


Why has my tinnitus suddenly got louder?

Changes in our life's sometimes cause our tinnitus to change. This can be caused by certain medications, certain changes in living situation, or stress. Also, some underlying factors of tinnitus such as injury to an ear canal can lead to sudden changes in tinnitus tone.

Stress is a very common cause of an increase in tinnitus. Tinnitus is also more noticeable when your mind is occupied with other thoughts. Finding out what is causing your increased stress can help reduce it. This way you can reduce the symptoms caused by tinnitus, and hopefully decrease the volume of your tinnitus.

Can ear drops help tinnitus?

Yes, for some people ear drops can help relieve the symptoms of tinnitus.

So, it is important to try things that can either reduce the volume of your tinnitus or help take away the annoying symptoms such as ringing in your ears.


How can I quickly reduce tinnitus?

If you have tinnitus, there are a number of remedies

  • Stop Smoking (cancer causing agent)
  • Reduce or eliminate alcohol intake
  • Quit smoking (noticed in 60% of tinnitus sufferers who quit for 1 year).
  • Exercise – Active people tend to have less tinnitus.
  • Eat a healthy diet that has L-tyrosine, L-phenylalanine and L-tyrosine (found in soy beans and bananas).
  • Meditate – (recommended by many tinnitus specialists)
  • Take a break from loud noise and do something relaxing.
  • Do NOT listen to your tinnitus - You can't fool it!

Can a visit to the doctor help relieve my tinnitus?

Yes, visiting the doctor can help in some cases. The first step is to make an appointment with your physician. The physician will be able to look at your ears and do a comprehensive exam of your ear medical history.

What foods to avoid if you have tinnitus?

There are certain foods that can worsen your tinnitus, they are:

1) Salt

Salt will increase blood pressure and cause fluid build up in your ears. Salt is also a irritant to the lining of your nose, throat and ears. So it is best not to consume salt during meals.

2) Dairy Products

Dairy products have been known to increase mucus production in many people. This can lead to increased blockage of the Eustachian tube which will make your tinnitus worse. It is important that you do not over consume dairy products as they can be harmful when eaten in excess. Some people find that they are lactose intolerant and may feel sick after drinking milk or eating cheese.

3) Sugar

Eating sugar can cause inflammation in many parts of the body. A lot of people notice that they feel worse if they have consumed too much sugar. So it is best to avoid consuming large quantities of sugary foods and drinks.

4) Coffee, Caffeine & Alcohol

Coffee, caffeine and alcohol are all stimulants which will help you deal with your tinnitus in the short term. However, these substances also have a long term effect on your body and can make your tinnitus worse if over consumed. Therefore it is highly recommended that you do not consume large amounts of these substances on a regular basis as they can cause more harm that good.

5) Fatty Foods

It is common sense that fatty foods are not good for you. The fats in meat and dairy products can cause inflammation in your body, this inflammation will cause the Eustachian tube to get clogged up and may increase your tinnitus volume.

6) Chocolate & Caffeine

You would expect chocolate to have some negative effect on your health. The high levels of caffeine content in all chocolate products can be a harmful substance for many people who suffer from tinnitus. Caffeine has been known to cause nausea, heart racing, headaches and anxiety.

7) Alcohol

Large amounts of alcohol are known to cause blood pressure to increase and cause fluid retention in your body. Also, drinking alcohol can cause you to lose your sense of taste which may be the difference between enjoying a meal or not. The main reason why it is best to avoid alcohol if you have tinnitus is that alcohol will numb your senses and therefore you may not notice an increase in your tinnitus volume.

8) Spicy Foods

Spicy foods are very irritable for many people, spicy foods have been known to cause heart burn and inflammation for some people. We would recommend that if you find that consuming spicy food causes side effects then you should avoid them as much as possible.

Can acupuncture help with tinnitus?

Can acupuncture help with tinnitus? Acupuncture does not seem to have helped much with tinnitus. As far as I understand it from the studies that have been conducted, there is little evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture. Unfortunately there is no magic cure for tinnitus. You may try this yourself as some people seem to find relief from it.

Can drinking water help tinnitus?

Yes, it can help. If you are not drinking enough water, your body may begin to dehydrate. As you get older your body will need more water than when you were younger. When you have a lack of fluid in your body, this can cause tinnitus symptoms such as dry mouth or a feeling of fullness in the ears. So try to drink at least 9 glasses of water per day, or according to how much you are sweating.

What vitamins help tinnitus?

Vitamins that may help tinnitus are vitamin B12, vitamin C, and folate. These vitamins have been shown to help improve the health of your nerves and brain function. It is important that you do not take too many vitamins as they can be harmful if too much is taken. As with everything in moderation! Try to find a good multivitamin that contains these nutrients as well as others.

Can you live a normal life with tinnitus?

If you have tinnitus, it is important that you do not let it get the better of you. You will need to work with your tinnitus and re-train your brain to only notice your tinnitus when it increases in volume. This can be done with the help of a good therapist and following this post.

As you follow through the steps outlined here, you will find that you will slowly become more accustomed to your tinnitus and find ways to live a normal life despite having tinnitus.


If you have tinnitus, the best way to manage it and its side effects is to reduce or eliminate noise exposure. If you have tinnitus, do not wear earplugs that make it more difficult to hear unless exposed to loud noises.

Ear plugs can provide some relief to those with tinnitus, but will not cure it. Wearing ear plugs regularly can help you get used to the sounds that bother you and may eventually decrease how bothered by them you are. Ear plugs should never be worn so often that they interfere with your hearing or cause pain in your ears. They should be a part of your overall strategy for relieving the stress of tinnitus and managing its symptoms.

It is best to avoid noise exposure when you have tinnitus. Ear plugs should be worn when you are exposed to noise that can potentially lead to hearing loss. For example, if you go to a shooting range or attend an outdoor concert, wear earplugs for at least thirty minutes before listening to a loud sound.

Please Note: Just because an ear defender is marked, for example, "Gunshot" - it will still cover other things, like "explosions"

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Other Questions

Does CBD oil help tinnitus?

Cannabis and CBD OIL have not been proven as a treatment of tinnitus yet. We read a lot of stories about the benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD), however I can not find any evidence that cannabidiol can be used as a treatment for tinnitus.

What happens if tinnitus goes untreated?

For more people is will be fine, for others it will be severe. But tinnitus can go away in the sense that you will not hear tinnitus anymore, but you may still have a ringing sound. A person can remain hearing impaired without suffering from the continuous ringing sound.

The problem is the quality of life that is affected by this condition. Tinnitus is very disabling for many people and creates a great impact on daily activities, which are essential to the quality of life.

Stress, anger, concentration problems, isolation, and depression are just a few of the problems that occur because of tinnitus.

What is the main cause of tinnitus?

Loud Noises/High Noise Levels. According to the American HNO Association (American Hearing Research Foundation), noises over 85 decibels can cause damage to the inner ear, resulting in tinnitus. These noises can be exposure to loud music at concerts or clubs, working in certain professions that are loud (such as construction work), daily living activities like vacuuming.


Can losing weight stop tinnitus?

Yes, for some people, losing weight can improve their tinnitus. A heathy weight can help reduce inflammation, which in turn can decrease the tinnitus symptoms and improve quality of life. A Healthy diet will help:

  • Improve your blood sugar and insulin levels.
  • Reduce stress, which helps to reduce the hyperactivity in the brain,
  • Lower blood pressure and improve circulation (which may also be contributors to tinnitus).
  • Get rid of inflammation and fatty deposits - this is essential to decrease the symptoms of tinnitus.

All of these effects will help with weight loss as well as tinnitus. Working out can also help you lose weight for those who cannot afford a healthy diet at this time. Even just walking for 30 minutes a day will improve both your tinnitus symptoms and your general health.


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Nick Le Page

Experience : Hi, I am Nick, and I have suffered with ear problems my whole life, mainly tinnitus. I have tried a lot of products to help protect my ears over this period, and several devices to block out the constant ringing

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