Do you live with a phantom ringing, roaring, hissing, whistling, buzzing or humming sound in your ears known as tinnitus? If so, your symptoms may be exacerbated by the stress of traveling. When this happens, it is known as a tinnitus spike. Below we review how to manage tinnitus spikes while traveling.
Minimize Jet Lag
Jet lag refers to when your body’s natural sleep cycle, or circadian rhythm, is thrown off by traveling to a different time zone. Symptoms of jet lag include sleeplessness, fatigue, trouble concentrating, mood changes, stomach issues and a general feeling of being unwell. Jet lag can be a major trigger of tinnitus spikes.
To combat the effects of jet lag, you can try taking melatonin when it’s time to sleep to reset your circadian rhythm. Melatonin is a hormone created in the brain that tells your body when it’s time to sleep, but it’s also available as an over-the-counter supplement at Cedra Pharmacy. (Note that you should always consult your doctor before trying a new medication or supplement.)
Use Pressure-Equalizing Earplugs
Another trigger of tinnitus spikes is airplane ear, also known as barotrauma. This occurs when the pressure in the air around you and the pressure in your middle ear are out of balance. You can get airplane ear during takeoff or landing of an airplane, but you can also get it when driving through the mountains.
Fortunately, there’s a strategy to combat airplane ear, too. You can invest in pressure-equalizing earplugs. These work by using special filters to equalize the pressure in your ear and your environment more gradually, reducing ear pain, pressure and tinnitus.
Bring Hearing Protection
Yet another way your tinnitus may be triggered while traveling is if you’re exposed to loud noises. Whether you’re traveling to attend a concert or just plan to walk through a bustling city, you could benefit from hearing protection.
You can purchase a pair of inexpensive earplugs from the drug store, which will reduce all noises, or you can invest in a set of musician’s earplugs from Total Hearing Care, which reduce dangerously loud noises without compromising sound quality, while allowing safe sounds through clearly.
Talk with Your Audiologist
For more tips or to come up with a tinnitus management plan, talk to your audiologist. To schedule an appointment, call Total Hearing Care today.