For people 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 ailments.
Tinnitus is a very real and extremely difficult experience for the almost 50 million Americans who have it. Ringing in the ears is the best description of tinnitus, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. These sounds aren’t detectable by others and that could be the most frustrating part of tinnitus, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.
While that 50 million number is large, it’s even more staggering when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the overall public struggles with tinnitus. A report put out by the U.S. Center for Disease Control says that 2 million of those individuals experience symptoms that are debilitating and severe while another 20 million have what’s classified as burdensome and chronic tinnitus.
In order to enhance their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus frequently turn to hearing aids. There are everyday things you can do to minimize the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.
If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:
- Caffeine; Here again, a spike in tinnitus levels comes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You might also find that too much caffeine changes your sleeping habits.
- Particular medicines; Over-the-counter medications including aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be very good at easing pain, but they could actually make your tinnitus symptoms worse. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication including prescription cancer drugs or antibiotics. However, you should always consult with your physician about any issues you’re having before stopping a prescribed medication.
- 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 could 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 louder for many people.
- Infections; There’s a long-standing commentary about the need to find a cure for the common cold, particularly since a lingering cold can quickly change into a sinus infection. Infections in both the sinus and ears have been known to worsen tinnitus, so be certain you’re doing everything you can to control your exposure to infections.
- Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be harmed by smoking. What’s more, it can shrink the blood vessels to the ears, which can cause tinnitus symptoms to get worse.
- Harmful blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus under control you should monitor your blood pressure which can also help protect you from other illnesses. It’s important to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can worsen tinnitus, so you should be diligent about routinely checking your blood pressure.
- Jaw issues; You should contact a doctor if you have jaw pain and even more so if you are experiencing tinnitus. Because the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, minimizing jaw pain may have an effect on your tinnitus.
- Loud noises; This one probably seems obvious, but it bears reiterating that loud noises can exacerbate the sounds you’re already hearing internally. Be careful of scenarios where you’ll be exposed to sounds at an increased level. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Consider protecting your ears with earplugs if you can’t steer clear of the noise. Earplugs can be particularly helpful for people whose job involves using loud machinery.
- Excess earwax; There’s no doubting that earwax is helpful in the in the overall health of your ears. In fact, the crud we all hate actually catches dirt and protects your ears. That being said, too much accumulation can cause tinnitus to get worse. Your doctor might be able to help you get rid of some of the accumulation and provide prevention advice 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 kidding. Sleep is another crucial aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
You can take back your life and regulate your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no official cure. Give these 10 suggestions a shot, and you may be pleasantly surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your overall health. If these don’t help, schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist.