For people who don’t suffer from tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more difficult to comprehend. That’s because unless you’re afflicted with tinnitus, you won’t feel, see or hear the symptoms in the same way you would other conditions.
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. 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. Maybe the most frustrating part of tinnitus is that these sounds aren’t detectable by others, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.
While that 50 million number is big, it seems 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 estimates 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.
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 minimize the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.
Here are 10 things to steer clear of if you suffer from tinnitus:
- Alcohol; There’s a common adage that states drinking a small amount of wine every day can have a positive effect on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that could be true; however, you absolutely can have too much of a good thing when it comes to alcohol and tinnitus. Drinking too much alcohol increases your blood pressure, which makes the ringing louder for some people.
- Hazardous 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 ailments. You should be persistent about routinely checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can worsen tinnitus.
- Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax is helpful in the grand scheme of how your ears work. As a matter of fact, the sludge we all hate actually traps dirt and protects your ears. Even so, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax builds up. Your doctor may be able to help you get rid of some of the buildup and supply prevention tips to make sure it doesn’t accumulate to a dangerous level again.
- 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.
- 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 certain you’re reducing your exposure to ear and sinus infections because they have can aggravate tinnitus.
- Particular medicines; Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be really good at easing pain, but they could actually increase your tinnitus symptoms. There are other prescription medications including cancer drugs and antibiotics that can also have an impact on tinnitus. However, you should always consult with your doctor about any problems you’re having before dropping a prescribed medication.
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can increase your blood pressure. In addition, it can shrink the blood vessels to the ears, which can make tinnitus symptoms more severe.
- Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t kidding around when she said you needed those eight hours each night. Sleep is another critical aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide range of benefits, including helping to avoid triggers of tinnitus.
- Loud sounds; It might be obvious but the noises you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud noises. Be mindful of circumstances where you’ll hear sounds at an increased level. This can include concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. Consider shielding your ears with earplugs if you can’t steer clear of the noise. Individuals who have loud jobs are especially benefited by ear plugs.
- Jaw issues; You should seek advice from a doctor if you have jaw pain and even more so if you are experiencing tinnitus. Because the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, alleviating jaw pain may have an effect on your tinnitus.
You can take back your life and control your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no known cure. You may 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.