There are few conditions that are more complex 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 see, feel, or hear the symptoms in the same way you would other conditions.
But for the nearly 50 million Americans who suffer from some form of tinnitus, the condition is very real and is often very challenging to manage. Tinnitus is best classified 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 disheartening part of tinnitus is that these noises aren’t perceptible by others, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.
The number is truly staggering 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 individuals have what’s known 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 frequently try hearing aids. While a hearing aid has shown to be an effective method of lessening the symptoms linked with tinnitus, there are personal changes you can make to decrease the ringing.
If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can increase your blood pressure. In addition, it can narrow 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 amount of wine every day can have a positive effect on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that might be true; however, you absolutely can have too much of a good thing with regards to alcohol and tinnitus. For many people drinking too much alcohol makes tinnitus symptoms more evident because it tends to increase your blood pressure.
- Dangerous blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is an essential preventive tip that will help keep you safe from many conditions, but it also just might keep your tinnitus symptoms at bay. You should be persistent about routinely checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can make tinnitus worse.
- Jaw issues; You should see 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, alleviating jaw pain may have an impact on your tinnitus.
- Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax serves a beneficial role in the in the overall health of your ears. But actually dirt is trapped and our ears are protected by this sludge that we hate. Even so, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax accumulates. Your doctor may be able to help you get rid of some of the accumulation and supply prevention advice to make sure it doesn’t accumulate to an unsafe level again.
- Particular medicines; Over-the-counter medicines including aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be really good at easing pain, but they could actually increase your tinnitus symptoms. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication including prescription cancer drugs or antibiotics. However, you should always talk with your physician about any issues you’re having before dropping a prescribed medication.
- 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 sure you’re controlling your exposure to ear and sinus infections because they have been known to intensify tinnitus.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you need to get your eight hours of sleep each night, she wasn’t joking. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep can help you to stay away from tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide array of other health benefits.
- Loud sounds; It might be obvious but the noises you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud sounds. Be careful of situations where you’ll be exposed to sounds at an elevated level. This includes construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. If you can’t avoid loud settings, think about wearing earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Earplugs can be particularly helpful for individuals whose job involves using loud machinery.
- Caffeine; Here’s yet another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a spike in levels. You will probably notice a change in sleeping habits if you drink too much caffeine.
You can take back your life and control your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no known cure. Give these 10 suggestions a try, and you might be pleasantly surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your general health. If these don’t help, make an appointment with a hearing specialist.