There aren’t many conditions that are more complex to comprehend 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.
Tinnitus is a very real and extremely challenging experience for the nearly 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 buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. 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.
The number is truly staggering when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the overall public suffers from tinnitus. A report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports that 2 million of those people experience symptoms that are debilitating and severe while another 20 million have what’s classified as burdensome and chronic tinnitus.
In order to augment their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus frequently turn to hearing aids. There are commonplace things you can do to minimize the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.
Here are 10 things to avoid if you have tinnitus:
- Jaw issues; You should consult a doctor if you have pain in your jaw and even more so if you have tinnitus. Reducing jaw pain may have some impact on your tinnitus since the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
- Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be raised by smoking. What’s more, it can shrink the blood vessels to the ears, which can cause tinnitus symptoms to get worse.
- Loud sounds; This one most likely seems obvious, but it’s worth reiterating that loud noises can exacerbate the sounds you’re already hearing internally. If a scenario arises where you will be exposed to loud sounds, be mindful. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Think about shielding your ears with earplugs if you can’t avoid the noise. Earplugs can be particularly helpful for people whose job involves working around loud machinery.
- Excess earwax; There’s no doubting that earwax serves a beneficial role in the grand scheme of how your ears work. 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 builds up. Your doctor may be able to help you relieve some of the buildup and give you prevention advice to make sure it doesn’t build up to an unsafe level again.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t kidding. Getting enough sleep can help you to stay away from tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide variety of other health benefits.
- Alcohol; There’s a common adage that says drinking a small glass of wine daily 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 certain people drinking too much alcohol causes tinnitus symptoms to be more evident because it tends to raise your blood pressure.
- Caffeine; Once again, a spike in tinnitus levels goes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You will most likely notice a change in sleeping habits if you drink too much caffeine.
- Particular medicines; Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be quite effective at easing 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. But before you stop using a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should set up a consultation.
- 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 sure you’re doing everything you can to reduce your exposure to infections.
- Unsafe blood pressure levels; Monitoring your blood pressure is an important preventive tip that can help keep you safe from many conditions, but it also just might keep your tinnitus symptoms in check. It’s significant to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can worsen tinnitus, so you should be persistent about regularly checking your blood pressure.
Although there’s no official cure for tinnitus, there are ways to manage the symptoms and take back your life. Give these 10 recommendations a try, and you may be surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your general health. If these don’t help, set up an appointment with a hearing specialist.