For people who don’t have tinnitus, there are few conditions more complex to comprehend. That’s because unless you actually have tinnitus, you won’t feel, see or hear the symptoms in the same way you would other conditions.
Tinnitus is a very real and extremely difficult experience for the nearly 50 million Americans who suffer from it. Ringing in the ears is the best classification of tinnitus, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with clicking, whistling, hissing, swooshing, and buzzing. Maybe the most disheartening part of tinnitus is that these noises aren’t detectable by others, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.
The number is truly astonishing when you consider that 15 percent of the general public has tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that approximately 20 million of those people have what’s known as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million experience symptoms that are extreme and debilitating.
In order to augment their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus many times turn to hearing aids. There are commonplace things you can do to minimize the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.
If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:
- 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 aggravate tinnitus, so be certain you’re doing everything you can to limit your exposure to infections.
- Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that states drinking a small glass of wine daily can have a positive effect on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that could be true; however, you definitely can have too much of a good thing when it comes to alcohol and tinnitus. For some people drinking too much alcohol causes tinnitus symptoms to be louder because it tends to raise your blood pressure.
- Particular medicines; Particular medications such as aspirin, for example, are good at decreasing pain but they might also trigger tinnitus. There are other prescription medications like antibiotics and cancer drugs that can also have an impact on tinnitus. However, you should always talk with your physician about any problems you’re having before stopping a prescribed medication.
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can raise your blood pressure. Additionally, it can shrink the blood vessels to the ears, which can cause tinnitus symptoms to get worse.
- Caffeine; Once again, a rise in tinnitus levels goes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You might also find that too much caffeine changes your sleeping habits.
- Dangerous blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is an important 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 persistent about routinely checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can make tinnitus worse.
- Loud noises; This one most likely seems obvious, but it bears reiterating that loud noises can worsen the sounds you’re already hearing internally. If a scenario appears where you will be subjected to loud noises, be mindful. This includes construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Consider shielding your ears with earplugs if you can’t steer clear of the noise. Individuals who have loud jobs are especially benefited by ear plugs.
- Jaw issues; If you’re having jaw pain, you should already be consulting a doctor, but particularly if you also have tinnitus. Because the jaw and ears share components such as nerves and ligaments, alleviating jaw pain might have an effect on your tinnitus.
- 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 range of other health benefits.
- Excess earwax; There’s no doubting that earwax is helpful in the grand scheme of how your ears work. In fact, the gunk we all hate actually traps dirt and protects your ears. Even so, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax builds up. To make sure it doesn’t accumulate to a dangerous amount, your doctor can clear some of it out and help with prevention.
Even though there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to regulate the symptoms and take back your life. Give these 10 recommendations a try, and you may be pleasantly surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your general health. If these don’t help, schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist.