There aren’t many conditions that are more complex to comprehend for those who don’t have tinnitus. 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 conditions.
But for the almost 50 million Americans who experience some form of tinnitus, the condition is very real and can be very difficult to manage. Tinnitus is best characterized as ringing in the ears, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with whistling, hissing, swooshing, clicking, and buzzing. Maybe the most frustrating part of tinnitus is that these sounds aren’t perceptible 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 battles with tinnitus. A report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports that 2 million of those individuals experience symptoms that are debilitating and extreme while another 20 million suffer from what’s considered burdensome and chronic tinnitus.
There’s a common connection between hearing loss and tinnitus, which is why people frequently turn to hearing aids to augment their hearing and to drown out the ringing. There are everyday things you can do to decrease the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.
If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:
- Dangerous blood pressure levels; Monitoring your blood pressure is an important preventive tip that will help keep you safe from many conditions, but it also just may keep your tinnitus symptoms at bay. It’s significant to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can make your tinnitus worse, so you should be persistent about regularly checking your blood pressure.
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can harm your blood pressure. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by narrowing the blood vessels to the ears.
- Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that states drinking a small glass of wine every day can have a positive effect on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that could be true; however, you absolutely can have too much of a good thing when it comes to alcohol and tinnitus. Drinking too much alcohol increases your blood pressure, which makes the ringing more evident for some people.
- Caffeine; Once again, a spike 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.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep each night, she wasn’t joking. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep can assist you to avoid tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide range of other health benefits.
- Jaw issues; You should contact a doctor if you have jaw pain and even more so if you are experiencing tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components such as nerves and ligaments, relieving jaw pain might have an impact on your 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. Infections in both the sinus and ears have been known to aggravate tinnitus, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to limit your exposure to infections.
- Excess earwax; There’s no doubting that earwax is helpful in the grand scheme of how your ears work. But actually dirt is trapped and our ears are protected by this gunk that we hate. In spite of this, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax accumulates. Your doctor might be able to help you relieve some of the buildup and supply prevention tips to make sure it doesn’t accumulate to an unsafe level again.
- Certain medicines; Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be really effective at soothing pain, but they may actually make your tinnitus symptoms worse. There are other prescription medications including cancer drugs and antibiotics that can also have an impact on tinnitus. But before you quit using a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should get a consultation.
- Loud sounds; This one most likely seems obvious, but it bears repeating that loud noises can worsen the sounds you’re already hearing internally. Be cautious of situations where you’ll be exposed to sounds at an elevated volume. This can include concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. If you can’t abstain from loud settings, consider using earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Earplugs can be especially helpful for people whose job involves working around loud machinery.
You can take back your life and manage your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no official cure. Give these 10 suggestions 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.