There aren’t many conditions that are more complex to understand for people who don’t have tinnitus. That’s because unless you’re afflicted with tinnitus, you won’t see, feel or hear the symptoms in the same way you might other ailments.
Tinnitus is a very real and extremely challenging experience for the nearly 50 million Americans who have it. Ringing in the ears is the best description of tinnitus, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with whistling, hissing, swooshing, clicking, and buzzing. These sounds aren’t perceptible by others and that could be the most disheartening part of tinnitus, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.
The number is really astonishing when you consider that 15 percent of the general public suffers from tinnitus. A report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control states that 2 million of those individuals experience symptoms that are debilitating and extreme while another 20 million suffer from what’s known as burdensome and chronic tinnitus.
There’s a common link between hearing loss and tinnitus, which is why people frequently turn to hearing aids to enhance their hearing and to drown out the ringing. While a hearing aid has proven to be an effective method of minimizing the symptoms linked with tinnitus, there are personal changes you can make to minimize the ringing.
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 intensify tinnitus, so be sure you’re doing everything you can to control your exposure to infections.
- Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that says drinking a small glass of wine daily can have a positive influence 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. Drinking too much alcohol raises your blood pressure, which makes the ringing louder for many people.
- Caffeine; Here again, a spike in tinnitus levels comes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You will probably notice a change in sleeping habits if you drink too much caffeine.
- Excess earwax; There’s no doubting 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 said, too much accumulation can cause tinnitus to get worse. To make certain it doesn’t accumulate to an unsafe amount, your doctor can clear some of it out and help with prevention.
- Unsafe blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is an important preventive tip that will help keep you safe from many ailments, but it also just might keep your tinnitus symptoms in check. You should be careful about routinely checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can worsen tinnitus.
- Jaw issues; You should contact a doctor if you have jaw pain and even more so if you are experiencing tinnitus. Reducing jaw pain may have some effect on your tinnitus since the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
- Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t joking when she said you needed those eight hours every night. Sleep is another crucial aspect of healthy living that offers a wide range of benefits, including helping to avoid triggers of tinnitus.
- Some medicines; Certain medications such as aspirin, for example, are good at reducing pain but they could also trigger tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication like prescription cancer drugs or antibiotics. However, you should always talk with your doctor about any problems you’re having before stopping a prescribed medication.
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can increase your blood pressure. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by narrowing the blood vessels to the ears.
- Loud sounds; It might be obvious but the noises you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud noises. Be careful of scenarios where you’ll hear sounds at an elevated level. This includes concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. Think about protecting your ears with earplugs if you can’t avoid the noise. Earplugs can be particularly helpful for people whose job involves using loud machinery.
You can take back your life and regulate your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no official cure. Give these 10 suggestions a try, 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 specialist.