For those who don’t have tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more difficult to comprehend. That’s because unless you actually have tinnitus, you won’t see, feel or hear 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 suffer from it. Ringing in the ears is the best classification of tinnitus, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with whistling, hissing, swooshing, clicking, and buzzing. Maybe the most discouraging part of tinnitus is that these noises aren’t detectable by others, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.
The number is truly astonishing when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the overall public has tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that around 20 million of those individuals have what’s known as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million suffer from symptoms that are extreme and debilitating.
In order to enhance their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus often try hearing aids. While a hearing aid has proven to be a reliable method of lessening the symptoms associated with tinnitus, there are personal actions you can take to decrease the ringing.
Here are 10 things to steer clear of if you have tinnitus:
- Caffeine; Here again, a spike in tinnitus levels goes along with this influence due to a rise in blood pressure. You could also find that too much caffeine changes your sleeping habits.
- Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be increased by smoking. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by narrowing the blood vessels to the ears.
- Some medicines; Certain medications like aspirin, for example, are good at reducing pain but they could also induce tinnitus. There are other prescription medications including antibiotics and cancer drugs that can also have an impact on tinnitus. However, you should always consult with your physician about any problems you’re having before stopping a prescribed medication.
- Harmful blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is a vital preventive tip that can help keep you safe from many conditions, but it also just may keep your tinnitus symptoms in check. You should be persistent about consistently checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can worsen tinnitus.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t joking. Getting plenty of sleep can assist you to stay away from tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide range of other health benefits.
- Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively affected by drinking a small glass of wine each day, 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 increases your blood pressure, which makes the ringing louder for many people.
- Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of how your ears work, it’s a known fact that earwax plays a positive role. In fact, the crud we all hate actually traps dirt and protects your ears. In spite of this, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax builds up. Your doctor may be able to help you get rid of some of the accumulation and give you prevention advice to ensure it doesn’t build up to a dangerous level again.
- Infections; There’s a long-standing commentary about the need to find a cure for the common cold, particularly because a lingering cold can quickly morph into a sinus infection. Infections in both the ears and sinus have been known to aggravate tinnitus, so be certain you’re doing everything you can to limit your exposure to infections.
- Jaw issues; You should contact a doctor if you have jaw pain and even more so if you are experiencing tinnitus. Minimizing jaw pain might have some impact on your tinnitus since the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
- Loud noises; It may be obvious but the sounds you’re hearing internally can be made worse by loud sounds. If a scenario arises where you will be subjected to loud noises, be cautious. This includes concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. If you can’t stay away from loud settings, consider wearing earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Earplugs can be especially helpful for individuals whose job involves using loud machinery.
You can take back your life and manage your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no official cure. Give these 10 suggestions a try, and you may be surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your overall health. If these don’t help, set up an appointment with a hearing specialist.