For people who don’t suffer from tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more difficult to comprehend. That’s because unless you actually have tinnitus, you won’t feel, see or hear the symptoms in the same way you would other ailments.
Tinnitus is a very real and extremely challenging experience for the almost 50 million Americans who suffer from it. Ringing in the ears is the best definition of tinnitus, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with clicking, whistling, hissing, swooshing, and buzzing. 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.
While that 50 million number is big, it’s even more astounding when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the general public battles with tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that roughly 20 million of those individuals have what’s known as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million suffer from symptoms that are severe and debilitating.
In order to enhance their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus frequently try hearing aids. There are commonplace things you can do to decrease the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.
Here are 10 things to avoid if you suffer from tinnitus:
- Infections; Since a lingering cold can quickly turn into a sinus infection there has always been commentary about the need to find a cure for it. Make sure you’re reducing your exposure to ear and sinus infections because they have can worsen tinnitus.
- Harmful blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is an important preventive strategy that can help keep you safe from many illnesses, but it also just may keep your tinnitus symptoms in check. You should be diligent about routinely checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can make tinnitus worse.
- Alcohol; There’s a common adage that says drinking a small amount of wine daily can have a positive influence on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that might be true; however, you definitely can have too much of a good thing with regards to alcohol and tinnitus. For some people drinking too much alcohol causes tinnitus symptoms to be more evident because it tends to increase your blood pressure.
- Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be harmed by smoking. In addition, it can narrow the blood vessels to the ears, which can make tinnitus symptoms more severe.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you need to get your eight hours of sleep each night, she wasn’t kidding. Sleep is another critical aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
- Jaw issues; You should seek advice from a doctor if you have pain in your jaw and even more so if you have tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, minimizing jaw pain may have an effect on your tinnitus.
- Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of how your ears work, there’s no doubt that earwax helpful. In fact, the sludge we all hate actually traps dirt and protects your ears. That said, too much accumulation can make tinnitus worse. To make certain it doesn’t build up to a dangerous amount, your doctor can clean some of it out and help with prevention.
- Caffeine; Here’s yet another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a rise in levels. You will probably notice a change in sleeping habits if you consume too much caffeine.
- Loud sounds; This one most likely seems obvious, but it bears repeating that loud noises can exacerbate the sounds you’re already hearing internally. If a situation arises where you will be subjected to loud sounds, be careful. This includes concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. Consider protecting your ears with earplugs if you can’t steer clear of the noise. Earplugs can be very helpful for individuals whose job involves using loud machinery.
- Certain medicines; Over-the-counter medicines including aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be very effective at soothing pain, but they could actually make your tinnitus symptoms worse. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication like prescription cancer drugs or antibiotics. But before you stop taking a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should set up a consultation.
Though there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to manage the symptoms and take back your life. Give these 10 recommendations a try, and you may be pleasantly surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your general health. If these don’t help, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.