For people who don’t suffer from tinnitus, there are few conditions more complex to understand. 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 ailments.
Tinnitus is a very real and extremely challenging experience for the almost 50 million Americans who have it. Ringing in the ears is the best description of tinnitus, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. 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.
While that 50 million number is huge, it’s even more staggering when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the general public struggles with tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that around 20 million of those individuals have what’s classified 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 often turn to hearing aids. While a hearing aid has proven to be a reliable method of reducing the symptoms connected with tinnitus, there are personal actions you can take to minimize the ringing.
If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:
- Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be harmed by smoking. Additionally, it can narrow the blood vessels to the ears, which can make tinnitus symptoms more severe.
- 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 sinus and ears have been known to worsen tinnitus, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to limit your exposure to infections.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you need to get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t joking. Sleep is another essential aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid triggers of tinnitus.
- Caffeine; Here’s yet another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a spike in levels. You could also find that too much caffeine alters your sleeping habits.
- Jaw issues; If you’re having jaw pain, you should already be contacting a doctor, but particularly if you also have tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, alleviating jaw pain may have an effect on your tinnitus.
- Loud sounds; It might be obvious but the sounds you’re hearing internally can be made worse by loud noises. If a situation arises where you will be exposed to loud sounds, be careful. This includes construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Think about shielding your ears with earplugs if you can’t steer clear of the noise. Earplugs can be particularly helpful for individuals whose job involves using loud machinery.
- Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of how your ears work, it’s a known fact that earwax plays a positive role. But actually dirt is trapped and our ears are protected by this sludge that we hate. That being said, too much buildup can make tinnitus 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.
- Hazardous blood pressure levels; Monitoring your blood pressure is a vital preventive tip that will help keep you safe from many conditions, but it also just may 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.
- Specific medicines; Particular medications such as aspirin, as an example, are good at decreasing pain but they might also induce tinnitus. There are other prescription medications including antibiotics and cancer drugs that can also have an impact on tinnitus. But before you quit taking a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should get a consultation.
- Alcohol; There’s a common adage that says drinking a small amount of wine daily can have a positive influence 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 more evident because it tends to increase your blood pressure.
Although there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to control the symptoms and take back your life. You might be surprised in the changes in your general health and your tinnitus symptoms if you try these 10 recommendations. If these don’t help, make an appointment with a hearing specialist.