For people who don’t have tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more complex 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 ailments.
Tinnitus is a very real and extremely challenging experience for the almost 50 million Americans who suffer from it. Ringing in the ears is the best classification of tinnitus, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with whistling, hissing, swooshing, clicking, and buzzing. Maybe the most discouraging part of tinnitus is that these sounds aren’t perceptible by others, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.
While that 50 million number is huge, it seems even more staggering when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the general public battles with tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that approximately 20 million of those people have what’s classified as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million suffer from symptoms that are extreme and debilitating.
There’s a common link between hearing loss and tinnitus, which is why people often turn to hearing aids to enhance their hearing and to drown out the ringing. There are commonplace things you can do to minimize the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.
Here are 10 things to stay away from if you have tinnitus:
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t kidding. Sleep is another critical aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid triggers of tinnitus.
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can raise your blood pressure. In addition, it can narrow the blood vessels to the ears, which can make tinnitus symptoms more severe.
- Caffeine; Once again, a surge in tinnitus levels goes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You will most likely notice a change in sleeping habits if you consume too much caffeine.
- Jaw issues; You should see a doctor if you have jaw pain and even more so if you have tinnitus. Alleviating jaw pain might have some effect on your tinnitus since the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
- Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively affected by drinking a small amount of wine daily, or so the old saying goes. But with regards to alcohol and tinnitus, you can have too much of a good thing. Drinking too much alcohol raises your blood pressure, which makes the ringing louder for many people.
- Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to find a cure for the common cold, particularly since a lingering cold can quickly change into a sinus infection. Infections in both the sinus and ears have been known to worsen tinnitus, so make certain you’re doing everything you can to control your exposure to infections.
- Specific medicines; Over-the-counter medications like aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be very good 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 using a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should get a consultation.
- Hazardous blood pressure levels; Monitoring your blood pressure is an essential preventive strategy that will help keep you safe from many conditions, but it also just might keep your tinnitus symptoms at bay. You should be persistent about routinely checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can worsen tinnitus.
- Loud sounds; This one most likely seems obvious, but it’s worth repeating that loud noises can exacerbate the sounds you’re already hearing internally. Be careful of situations where you’ll be exposed to sounds at an increased volume. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. If you can’t abstain from loud settings, consider wearing earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Individuals who have loud jobs are especially benefited by ear plugs.
- Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of how your ears work, there’s no doubt that earwax plays a positive role. In fact, the crud we all hate actually traps dirt and protects your ears. That being said, too much buildup can make tinnitus worse. Your doctor may be able to help you get rid of some of the accumulation and provide prevention tips to ensure it doesn’t build up to a dangerous level again.
Although there’s no official cure for tinnitus, there are ways to regulate 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 care professional.