For those who don’t have tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more complex to understand. The problem with tinnitus is that if you are not afflicted with it, you won’t see, feel, or hear the symptoms in the same way you would other conditions.
But for the almost 50 million Americans who suffer from some form of tinnitus, the condition is very real and can be very difficult to manage. Ringing in the ears is the best classification of tinnitus, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. Maybe the most disheartening part of tinnitus is that these noises aren’t detectable by others, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.
The number is truly astonishing when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the general public suffers from tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that around 20 million of those individuals have what’s known as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million experience symptoms that are extreme and debilitating.
There’s a common connection between hearing loss and tinnitus, which is why people often turn to hearing aids to augment their hearing and to drown out the ringing. There are commonplace things you can do to decrease the ringing along with using hearing aids.
If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:
- Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be harmed by smoking. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by narrowing the blood vessels to the ears.
- Loud noises; This one most likely seems obvious, but it’s worth reiterating that loud noises can worsen the sounds you’re already hearing internally. Be cautious of circumstances where you’ll hear sounds at an elevated level. This includes construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Consider protecting your ears with earplugs if you can’t steer clear of the noise. People who work at loud jobs are particularly benefited by ear plugs.
- Caffeine; Here again, a surge in tinnitus levels comes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You might also find that too much caffeine alters your sleeping habits.
- Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of how your ears work, there’s no doubt that earwax plays a positive role. But actually dirt is trapped and our ears are protected by this gunk that we hate. In spite of this, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax accumulates. Your doctor may be able to help you reduce some of the buildup and supply prevention tips to make sure it doesn’t build up to an unsafe level again.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep each night, she wasn’t joking. Getting plenty of sleep can help you to stay away from tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide array of other health benefits.
- Infections; There’s a long-standing commentary about the need to cure the common cold, especially since a lingering cold can quickly morph into a sinus infection. Infections in both the sinus and ears have been known to aggravate tinnitus, so be sure you’re doing everything you can to limit your exposure to infections.
- Jaw issues; You should contact a doctor if you have pain in your jaw and even more so if you are experiencing tinnitus. Because the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, alleviating jaw pain might have an effect on your tinnitus.
- Alcohol; There’s a common adage that states drinking a small amount of wine daily can have a positive impact on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that may be true; however, you definitely can have too much of a good thing with regards to alcohol and tinnitus. Drinking too much alcohol increases your blood pressure, which makes the ringing more evident for some people.
- Harmful blood pressure levels; Monitoring your blood pressure is a vital preventive tip that will help keep you safe from many conditions, but it also just might keep your tinnitus symptoms under control. You should be persistent about consistently checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can make tinnitus worse.
- Particular medicines; Over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be really effective at easing pain, but they could actually increase your tinnitus symptoms. There are other prescription medications including cancer drugs and antibiotics that can also have an impact on tinnitus. However, you should always talk with your doctor about any problems you’re having before stopping a prescribed medication.
Even though there’s no official cure for tinnitus, there are ways to control the symptoms and take back your life. You might be surprised in the changes in your overall health and your tinnitus symptoms if you try these 10 recommendations. If these don’t help, set up an appointment with a hearing care professional.