For those who don’t suffer from tinnitus, there are few conditions more difficult to comprehend. The problem with tinnitus is that if you are not afflicted with it, you won’t hear, see or feel 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 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. Maybe the most disheartening part of tinnitus is that these sounds aren’t perceptible by others, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.
The number is really astonishing when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the general public suffers from tinnitus. A report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports that 2 million of those individuals experience symptoms that are debilitating and extreme while another 20 million suffer from what’s considered 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. There are everyday things you can do to decrease the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.
Here are 10 things to avoid if you suffer from tinnitus:
- Caffeine; Here’s yet another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a rise in levels. You may also find that too much caffeine changes your sleeping habits.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you need to get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t kidding. Getting plenty of sleep can help you to avoid tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide array of other health benefits.
- Harmful blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus at bay you should keep track of your blood pressure which can also help protect you from other illnesses. You should be diligent about routinely 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 glass of wine every day, or so the old adage goes. But when it comes to alcohol and tinnitus, you can have too much of a good thing. Drinking too much alcohol increases your blood pressure, which makes the ringing more evident for many people.
- 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. Make sure you’re controlling your exposure to sinus and ear infections because they have can aggravate tinnitus.
- Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of how your ears work, it’s a known fact that earwax helpful. But actually dirt is trapped and our ears are protected by this sludge that we hate. That said, too much accumulation can cause tinnitus to get worse. To make sure it doesn’t accumulate to a dangerous amount, your doctor can clear some of it out and help with prevention.
- Certain medicines; Over-the-counter medications including aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be really effective at soothing pain, but they may actually increase your tinnitus symptoms. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication such as prescription antibiotics or cancer drugs. But before you quit taking a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should get a consultation.
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can raise your blood pressure. What’s more, it can shrink the blood vessels to the ears, which can make tinnitus symptoms more severe.
- Loud sounds; This one most likely seems obvious, but it bears reiterating that loud noises can worsen the sounds you’re already hearing internally. Be cautious of situations where you’ll hear sounds at an elevated level. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. If you can’t stay away from loud settings, think about using earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. People who work at loud jobs are especially benefited by ear plugs.
- Jaw issues; If you’re having pain in your jaw, you should already be contacting a doctor, but especially if you also suffer from tinnitus. Minimizing jaw pain might have some effect on your tinnitus because the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
Even though there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to regulate the symptoms and take back your life. You may be surprised in the changes in your overall health and your tinnitus symptoms if you try these 10 suggestions. If these don’t help, set up an appointment with a hearing specialist.