For those who don’t have tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more difficult to understand. That’s because unless you’re afflicted with tinnitus, you won’t see, feel or hear the symptoms in the same way you would other ailments.
Tinnitus is a very real and extremely difficult experience for the almost 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 buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. These sounds aren’t noticeable by others and that might be the most frustrating 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 general public suffers from tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that roughly 20 million of those people have what’s known as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million suffer from symptoms that are severe and debilitating.
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 steer clear of if you suffer from tinnitus:
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can raise your blood pressure. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by shrinking the blood vessels to the ears.
- Harmful blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is an important preventive tip that will help keep you safe from many illnesses, but it also just might keep your tinnitus symptoms at bay. You should be diligent about consistently checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can make tinnitus worse.
- Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively impacted by drinking a small amount of wine daily, or so the old saying goes. But with regards to alcohol and tinnitus, you can have too much of a good thing. For certain people drinking too much alcohol makes tinnitus symptoms more evident because it tends to increase your blood pressure.
- Jaw issues; If you’re having jaw pain, you should already be consulting a doctor, but particularly if you also suffer from tinnitus. Relieving jaw pain may have some impact on your tinnitus because the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
- Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to cure the common cold, particularly since a lingering cold can quickly change into a sinus infection. Infections in both the sinus and ears have been known to aggravate tinnitus, so be sure you’re doing everything you can to control your exposure to infections.
- Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t joking when she said you needed those eight hours every night. Getting an adequate amount of sleep can assist you to avoid tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide array of other health benefits.
- Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of how your ears work, it’s a known fact that earwax plays a positive role. In fact, the sludge we all hate actually catches dirt and protects your ears. 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 clear some of it out and help with prevention.
- Loud noises; This one probably seems obvious, but it’s worth reiterating that loud noises can worsen the sounds you’re already hearing internally. If a situation appears where you will be subjected to loud sounds, be mindful. This can include concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. Consider protecting 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.
- 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 drink too much caffeine.
- Specific medicines; Over-the-counter medicines like aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be very good at easing pain, but they could actually make your tinnitus symptoms worse. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication including prescription antibiotics or cancer drugs. But before you stop using a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should schedule a consultation.
You can take back your life and control your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no official cure. Give these 10 recommendations a shot, and you might be pleasantly surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your overall health. If these don’t help, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.