There aren’t many conditions that are more difficult to understand for people who don’t have tinnitus. The problem with tinnitus is that if you are not afflicted with it, you won’t hear, see or feel the symptoms in the same way you would other ailments.
But for the almost 50 million Americans who experience some form of tinnitus, the condition is very real and can be very difficult to deal with. 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. These sounds aren’t detectable by others and that could be the most frustrating part of tinnitus, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.
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 reports 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.
In order to enhance their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus often turn to hearing aids. There are commonplace things you can do to reduce the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.
Here are 10 things to steer clear of if you suffer from tinnitus:
- Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be increased by smoking. In addition, it can narrow the blood vessels to the ears, which can make tinnitus symptoms more severe.
- Caffeine; Here again, a surge in tinnitus levels comes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You could also find that too much caffeine alters your sleeping habits.
- Loud noises; This one most likely seems obvious, but it’s worth repeating that loud noises can worsen the sounds you’re already hearing internally. If a scenario appears where you will be subjected to loud noises, be mindful. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. If you can’t stay away from loud settings, think about using earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Individuals who have loud jobs are especially benefited by ear plugs.
- Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively affected by drinking a small amount of wine daily, 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 raise your blood pressure.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you need to get your eight hours of sleep each night, she wasn’t kidding. Getting plenty of sleep can help you to avoid tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide array of other health benefits.
- Jaw issues; If you’re having pain in your jaw, you should already be visiting a doctor, but particularly if you also have tinnitus. Minimizing jaw pain may have some effect on your tinnitus since the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
- Excess earwax; There’s no doubting that earwax is helpful in the grand scheme of how your ears work. Actually, the gunk we all hate actually traps dirt and protects your ears. That being said, too much buildup can cause tinnitus to get worse. To make certain it doesn’t build up to an unsafe amount, your doctor can clear some of it out and help with prevention.
- Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to cure the common cold, specifically because a lingering cold can quickly change into a sinus infection. Infections in both the sinus and ears have been known to intensify tinnitus, so be sure you’re doing everything you can to control your exposure to infections.
- Dangerous blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus at bay you should keep track of your blood pressure which can also help safeguard you from other illnesses. You should be persistent about routinely checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can worsen tinnitus.
- Specific medicines; Particular medications like aspirin, for example, are good at decreasing pain but they could also trigger tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication including prescription antibiotics or cancer drugs. But before you quit taking a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should get a consultation.
Even though there’s no official cure for tinnitus, there are ways to regulate the symptoms and take back your life. Give these 10 recommendations a shot, and you might be surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your overall health. If these don’t help, set up an appointment with a hearing specialist.