For those who don’t have tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more difficult to comprehend. 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.
Tinnitus is a very real and extremely difficult experience for the nearly 50 million Americans who suffer from it. 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. Maybe the most discouraging part of tinnitus is that these noises aren’t perceptible by others, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.
The number is really staggering when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the overall public suffers from tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately 20 million of those individuals have what’s classified as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million suffer from 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 augment their hearing and to drown out the ringing. There are everyday things you can do to reduce the ringing along with using hearing aids.
If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:
- Jaw issues; If you’re having jaw pain, you should already be consulting a doctor, but especially if you also suffer from tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components such as nerves and ligaments, minimizing jaw pain may have an effect on your tinnitus.
- Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that says drinking a small glass of wine daily can have a positive influence on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that may be true; however, you absolutely 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 raise your blood pressure.
- Harmful blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus at bay you should monitor your blood pressure which can also help protect you from other ailments. You should be careful about consistently checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can worsen tinnitus.
- 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 gunk we all hate actually catches dirt and protects your ears. Even so, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax accumulates. To make sure it doesn’t build up to an unsafe 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 good at soothing pain, but they may actually make your tinnitus symptoms worse. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication like prescription antibiotics or cancer drugs. But before you stop taking a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should schedule a consultation.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you need to get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t joking. Getting plenty of sleep can help you to stay away from tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide variety of other health benefits.
- Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to find a cure for the common cold, particularly because a lingering cold can quickly morph into a sinus infection. Make sure you’re reducing your exposure to ear and sinus infections because they have been known to intensify tinnitus.
- Caffeine; Here’s yet another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a rise in levels. You will most likely notice a change in sleeping habits if you consume too much caffeine.
- Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be harmed by smoking. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by narrowing the blood vessels to the ears.
- 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 mindful of scenarios where you’ll hear sounds at an increased level. This can include concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. If you can’t abstain from loud settings, think about using earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Individuals who work at loud jobs are especially benefited by ear plugs.
Though there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to regulate the symptoms and take back your life. You may be surprised in the changes in your overall health and your tinnitus symptoms if you try these 10 suggestions. If these don’t help, set up an appointment with a hearing care professional.