There are few conditions that are more complex to comprehend for people who don’t have tinnitus. That’s because unless you actually have tinnitus, you won’t see, feel or hear the symptoms in the same way you would other conditions.
Tinnitus is a very real and extremely difficult experience for the nearly 50 million Americans who have it. Ringing in the ears is the best description of tinnitus, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. These sounds aren’t detectable by others and that might be the most discouraging part of tinnitus, 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 overall public suffers from tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that approximately 20 million of those people have what’s classified as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million experience symptoms that are extreme and debilitating.
In order to augment their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus many times turn to hearing aids. While a hearing aid has proven to be an effective method of minimizing the symptoms associated with tinnitus, there are personal actions you can take to reduce the ringing.
Here are 10 things to steer clear of if you have tinnitus:
- Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be harmed by smoking. In addition, it can shrink the blood vessels to the ears, which can make tinnitus symptoms more severe.
- Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that says drinking a small glass of wine every day can have a positive impact on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that could be true; however, you definitely can have too much of a good thing when it comes to alcohol and tinnitus. Drinking too much alcohol raises your blood pressure, which makes the ringing more evident for many people.
- Loud noises; It may be obvious but the sounds you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud noises. Be mindful of situations where you’ll hear sounds at an elevated volume. This includes concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. If you can’t avoid loud settings, think about wearing earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Individuals who work at loud jobs are especially benefited by ear plugs.
- Excess earwax; When it comes to how your ears work, it’s a known fact that earwax helpful. But actually dirt is trapped and our ears are protected by this gunk that we hate. That being said, too much buildup can cause tinnitus to get worse. Your doctor may 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 a dangerous level again.
- Caffeine; Once again, a surge in tinnitus levels goes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You might also find that too much caffeine alters your sleeping habits.
- Certain medicines; Over-the-counter medicines including aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be very good at easing pain, but they may actually increase your tinnitus symptoms. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication like prescription antibiotics or cancer drugs. But before you stop using a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should schedule a consultation.
- Unsafe blood pressure levels; Monitoring your blood pressure is an essential preventive tip that will help keep you safe from many ailments, but it also just may keep your tinnitus symptoms at bay. You should be diligent about consistently checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can make tinnitus worse.
- 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. Infections in both the ears and sinus have been known to worsen tinnitus, so make certain you’re doing everything you can to reduce your exposure to infections.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t joking. Sleep is another essential aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide range of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
- Jaw issues; If you’re having pain in your jaw, you should already be visiting a doctor, but particularly if you also have tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, alleviating jaw pain may have an impact on your tinnitus.
Even though there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to control 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 overall health. If these don’t help, set up an appointment with a hearing care professional.