Over the next months, I will be uploading some commonly viewed FAQs from MusiciansClinics.com. This is the website of the Musicians’ Clinics of Canada, and was completely updated over the last Christmas holidays. I should have entitled it “What I did over the Christmas holidays”! A full range of FAQs will eventually cover pretty much everything we know about music and the prevention of hearing loss.
Feel free to submit other questions that can be answered in 4-5 sentences and I may include them in future posts…
If my tinnitus goes away after 16 hours, is it safe to go to another concert after?
The short answer is “yes” and “no”. It is true that the ear recovers after about 16 hours and can take on new challenges of loud music, but TTS is a warning signal of being exposed to too much music. If you go to a rock concert on Friday night, don’t mow your lawn until Sunday (or better yet, get someone else to do it!) However, once you have a music related (or noise related) hearing loss, it is permanent, so do whatever it takes to prevent it. Certainly moderation is one idea. Enjoy that loud song, but when it’s over, turn down the volume a bit to give your ears a rest.
Don’t panic- this is rather uncommon, but it does occur on occasion. There is almost always a hearing loss associated with the tinnitus. Using a small hearing aid (and there are some that fit invisibly into the ear canal) not only will help you hear better, but will tend to mask or block out the tinnitus in the majority of people. Being overly concerned about it is another problem. The last thing someone should do is become stressed as this may make the tinnitus more noticeable. There are therapy programs that serve to retrain the brain to ignore tinnitus and these can be very successful. Contact your local audiologist or doctor if this becomes a problem.
Can tinnitus (ringing in the ears) be treated with ginkgo biloba?
Health food stores frequently sell Gingko Biloba extract as a treatment for tinnitus. There is no scientific basis behind this. A recent study from England surveyed over 500 users of Gingko Biloba and found no significant tinnitus reduction benefit.