For those who don’t suffer from 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 might other ailments.
But for the nearly 50 million Americans who suffer from some form of tinnitus, the problem is very real and can be very difficult to deal with. Tinnitus is best described as ringing in the ears, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with whistling, hissing, swooshing, clicking, and buzzing. These sounds aren’t noticeable by others and that could be the most disheartening part of tinnitus, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.
The number is really astonishing when you consider that 15 percent of the general public has tinnitus. A report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control says that 2 million of those people experience symptoms that are debilitating and severe while another 20 million suffer from what’s classified as burdensome and chronic tinnitus.
There’s a common connection between hearing loss and tinnitus, which is why people often turn to hearing aids to augment their hearing and to drown out the ringing. While a hearing aid has shown to be a reliable method of reducing the symptoms associated with tinnitus, there are personal changes you can make to decrease the ringing.
Here are 10 things to avoid if you suffer from tinnitus:
- Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to cure the common cold, specifically since a lingering cold can quickly change into a sinus infection. Be sure you’re controlling your exposure to sinus and ear infections because they have can worsen tinnitus.
- Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively impacted by drinking a small glass of wine every day, or so the old saying goes. But with regards to alcohol and tinnitus, you can have too much of a good thing. For some people drinking too much alcohol causes tinnitus symptoms to be more evident because it tends to raise your blood pressure.
- Unsafe blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus in check you should keep track of your blood pressure which can also help safeguard 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.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you need to get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t kidding. Getting enough sleep can help you to avoid tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide range of other health benefits.
- Loud noises; This one most likely seems obvious, but it’s worth repeating that loud noises can worsen the sounds you’re already hearing internally. If a scenario happens where you will be exposed to loud sounds, be cautious. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. If you can’t avoid loud settings, think about wearing earplugs to shield you from some of the noise. Individuals who work at loud jobs are particularly benefited by ear plugs.
- Jaw issues; If you’re having jaw pain, you should already be visiting a doctor, but particularly if you also suffer from tinnitus. Alleviating jaw pain may have some impact on your tinnitus because the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
- Caffeine; Here again, a spike in tinnitus levels comes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You will most likely notice a change in sleeping habits if you drink too much caffeine.
- Certain medicines; Over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be very effective at easing pain, but they could actually increase your tinnitus symptoms. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication like prescription cancer drugs or antibiotics. But before you stop taking a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should get a consultation.
- Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax is helpful in the in the overall health of your ears. As a matter of fact, the crud we all hate actually traps dirt and protects your ears. Even so, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax accumulates. To make certain it doesn’t accumulate to an unsafe amount, your doctor can clear some of it out and help with prevention.
- Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be raised by smoking. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by narrowing the blood vessels to the ears.
Though there’s no official cure for tinnitus, there are ways to regulate the symptoms and take back your life. Give these 10 suggestions a try, and you might be surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your general health. If these don’t help, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.