There are few conditions that are more complex to understand for those who don’t have tinnitus. That’s because unless you’re afflicted with tinnitus, you won’t see, feel or hear the symptoms in the same way you might other ailments.
Tinnitus is a very real and extremely challenging experience for the nearly 50 million Americans who have it. Tinnitus is best classified as ringing in the ears, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with clicking, whistling, hissing, swooshing, and buzzing. Maybe the most disheartening part of tinnitus is that these sounds aren’t perceptible by others, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.
The number is really staggering when you consider that 15 percent of the general public has tinnitus. A report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control states that 2 million of those people experience symptoms that are debilitating and extreme while another 20 million have what’s classified as burdensome and chronic tinnitus.
In order to augment their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus many times try hearing aids. There are everyday things you can do to decrease the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.
Here are 10 things to avoid if you suffer from tinnitus:
- Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively impacted by drinking a small glass of wine each day, or so the old adage goes. But when it comes to alcohol and tinnitus, you can have too much of a good thing. For some people drinking too much alcohol causes tinnitus symptoms to be more evident because it tends to increase your blood pressure.
- Loud sounds; It might be obvious but the noises you’re hearing internally can be made worse by loud sounds. Be cautious of scenarios where you’ll hear sounds at an elevated volume. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Think about protecting your ears with earplugs if you can’t steer clear of the noise. Earplugs can be particularly helpful for people whose job involves working around loud machinery.
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can harm your blood pressure. In addition, it can shrink the blood vessels to the ears, which can make tinnitus symptoms more severe.
- Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of how your ears work, there’s no doubt that earwax plays a positive role. As a matter of fact, the sludge we all hate actually catches dirt and protects your ears. That said, too much buildup can cause tinnitus to get worse. To make sure it doesn’t accumulate to a dangerous amount, your doctor can clean some of it out and help with prevention.
- Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to cure the common cold, specifically since a lingering cold can quickly change into a sinus infection. Make certain you’re reducing your exposure to ear and sinus infections because they have been known to intensify tinnitus.
- Caffeine; Once again, a spike in tinnitus levels goes along with this influence due to a rise in blood pressure. You could also find that too much caffeine alters your sleeping habits.
- Some medicines; Over-the-counter medications like aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be very effective at soothing pain, but they may actually make your tinnitus symptoms worse. There are other prescription medications including cancer drugs and antibiotics that can also have an impact on tinnitus. But before you quit taking a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should get a consultation.
- Jaw issues; You should see a doctor if you have jaw pain and even more so if you are experiencing tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components such as nerves and ligaments, minimizing jaw pain may have an impact on your tinnitus.
- Dangerous blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is an essential preventive strategy that will help keep you safe from many ailments, but it also just might keep your tinnitus symptoms under control. It’s important to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can worsen tinnitus, so you should be diligent about regularly checking your blood pressure.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you need to get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t kidding. Getting enough sleep can help you to stay away from tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide range of other health benefits.
Although there’s no official cure for tinnitus, there are ways to manage the symptoms and take back your life. Give these 10 recommendations a shot, and you might be pleasantly surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your overall health. If these don’t help, make an appointment with a hearing specialist.