For those who don’t suffer from tinnitus, there are few conditions more difficult to understand. That’s because unless you’re afflicted with 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 have it. Tinnitus is best described as ringing in the ears, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with whistling, hissing, swooshing, clicking, and buzzing. Maybe the most frustrating part of tinnitus is that these sounds 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 staggering when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the general public struggles with tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that approximately 20 million of those individuals have what’s classified as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million experience symptoms that are severe and debilitating.
In order to augment their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus many times turn to hearing aids. There are everyday things you can do to reduce the ringing along with using hearing aids.
If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:
- Harmful blood pressure levels; Monitoring your blood pressure is a vital preventive strategy that will help keep you safe from many illnesses, but it also just may keep your tinnitus symptoms in check. You should be careful about regularly checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can make tinnitus worse.
- Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax is helpful in the grand scheme of how your ears work. Actually, the gunk we all hate actually catches dirt and protects your ears. That said, too much buildup can make tinnitus worse. Your doctor might be able to help you get rid of some of the buildup and give you prevention tips to ensure it doesn’t accumulate to an unsafe level again.
- Caffeine; Here’s 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.
- 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 many people drinking too much alcohol causes tinnitus symptoms to be louder because it tends to increase your blood pressure.
- 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. Be certain you’re controlling your exposure to ear and sinus infections because they have can intensify tinnitus.
- Jaw issues; You should contact a doctor if you have pain in your jaw and even more so if you have tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components such as nerves and ligaments, relieving jaw pain may have an impact on your tinnitus.
- Some medicines; Over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be very good at soothing pain, but they may actually increase your tinnitus symptoms. There are other prescription medications including cancer drugs and antibiotics that can also have an impact on tinnitus. However, you should always consult with your physician about any issues you’re having before stopping a prescribed medication.
- Loud sounds; It might be obvious but the sounds you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud sounds. If a situation happens where you will be exposed to loud sounds, be careful. This includes concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. If you can’t abstain from loud settings, think about wearing earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Individuals who have loud jobs are particularly benefited by ear plugs.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you need to get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t joking. Sleep is another crucial aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid triggers of tinnitus.
- Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be raised by smoking. What’s more, it can narrow the blood vessels to the ears, which can make tinnitus symptoms more severe.
You can take back your life and regulate your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no known cure. Give these 10 recommendations a shot, and you may be surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your overall health. If these don’t help, make an appointment with a hearing specialist.