For people who don’t have tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more difficult to comprehend. That’s because unless you actually have tinnitus, you won’t see, feel or hear the symptoms in the same way you might other conditions.
But for the almost 50 million Americans who suffer from some form of tinnitus, the condition is very real and is often very challenging to deal with. Ringing in the ears is the best definition of tinnitus, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with whistling, hissing, swooshing, clicking, and buzzing. These sounds aren’t noticeable by others and that could be the most disheartening part of tinnitus, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.
The number is truly astonishing when you consider that 15 percent of the overall public suffers from tinnitus. A report put out by the U.S. Center for Disease Control states that 2 million of those people experience symptoms that are debilitating and extreme while another 20 million suffer from what’s classified as burdensome and chronic tinnitus.
There’s a common connection between loss of hearing and tinnitus, which is why people often turn to hearing aids to augment their hearing and to drown out the ringing. There are everyday things you can do to reduce the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.
If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:
- Jaw issues; You should consult 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, alleviating jaw pain may have an effect on your tinnitus.
- Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively affected by drinking a small amount of wine each day, or so the old saying goes. But with regards to alcohol and tinnitus, you can have too much of a good thing. Drinking too much alcohol increases your blood pressure, which makes the ringing louder for many people.
- Particular medicines; Over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be very effective at easing pain, but they could actually make your tinnitus symptoms worse. There are other prescription medications including antibiotics and cancer drugs that can also have an impact on tinnitus. However, you should always consult with your physician about any problems you’re having before dropping a prescribed medication.
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can increase your blood pressure. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by shrinking the blood vessels to the ears.
- Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to cure the common cold, specifically because a lingering cold can quickly morph 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.
- Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax is helpful in the in the overall health of your ears. But actually dirt is trapped and our ears are protected by this gunk that we hate. That being said, too much accumulation can cause tinnitus to get worse. To make sure it doesn’t build up to a dangerous amount, your doctor can clean some of it out and help with prevention.
- 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.
- Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t joking when she said you needed to get eight hours each night. Sleep is another essential aspect of healthy living that offers a wide range of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
- Loud sounds; This one most likely seems obvious, but it bears reiterating that loud noises can worsen the sounds you’re already hearing internally. Be cautious of scenarios where you’ll hear sounds at an increased level. This includes concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. If you can’t avoid loud settings, think about using earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Individuals who work at loud jobs are particularly benefited by ear plugs.
- Dangerous blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is an essential preventive strategy that will help keep you safe from many ailments, but it also just might keep your tinnitus symptoms in check. You should be persistent about consistently checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can make tinnitus worse.
You can take back your life and control your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no known cure. You may be surprised in the changes in your overall health and your tinnitus symptoms if you try these 10 suggestions. If these don’t help, schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist.