There aren’t many conditions that are more complex to understand for people who don’t suffer from tinnitus. The problem with tinnitus is that if you are not afflicted with it, you won’t see, feel, or hear the symptoms in the same way you would other conditions.
But for the almost 50 million Americans who experience some form of tinnitus, the problem is very real and can be very difficult to manage. Tinnitus is best characterized as ringing in the ears, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, 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 disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.
The number is really staggering when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the general public has tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately 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 many times try hearing aids. There are commonplace things you can do to reduce the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.
If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:
- Unsafe blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus in check you should monitor your blood pressure which can also help protect you from other ailments. It’s important to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can make your tinnitus worse, so you should be careful about routinely checking your blood pressure.
- Jaw issues; If you’re having pain in your jaw, you should already be visiting a doctor, but particularly if you also suffer from tinnitus. Because the jaw and ears share components such as nerves and ligaments, reducing jaw pain might have an effect on your tinnitus.
- Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of how your ears work, there’s no doubt that earwax helpful. In fact, the gunk we all hate actually traps dirt and protects your ears. That being said, too much buildup can make tinnitus worse. To make sure it doesn’t accumulate to a dangerous amount, your doctor can clear some of it out and help with prevention.
- Specific medicines; Over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be very effective at soothing pain, but they could actually make your tinnitus symptoms worse. There are other prescription medications like antibiotics and cancer drugs that can also have an impact on tinnitus. However, you should always talk with your physician about any problems you’re having before stopping a prescribed medication.
- Caffeine; Once again, a spike in tinnitus levels goes 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. Infections in both the sinus and ears have been known to worsen tinnitus, so be certain you’re doing everything you can to limit your exposure to infections.
- Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t kidding around when she said you needed to get eight hours every night. Sleep is another critical aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid triggers of tinnitus.
- Loud sounds; It may be obvious but the sounds you’re hearing internally can be made worse by loud noises. If a situation happens where you will be subjected to loud sounds, be mindful. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. If you can’t stay away 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.
- Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that states drinking a small glass of wine daily can have a positive influence on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that might be true; however, you definitely can have too much of a good thing when it comes to alcohol and tinnitus. For some people drinking too much alcohol makes tinnitus symptoms louder because it tends to increase your blood pressure.
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can increase your blood pressure. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by shrinking the blood vessels to the ears.
You can take back your life and regulate your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no known cure. Give these 10 suggestions a shot, and you might be surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your overall health. If these don’t help, make an appointment with a hearing specialist.