For those who don’t suffer from tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more difficult to comprehend. 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 ailments.
Tinnitus is a very real and extremely difficult experience for the nearly 50 million Americans who have 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 noises aren’t perceptible by others, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.
While that 50 million number is large, it’s even more staggering when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the general public battles with tinnitus. A report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control says that 2 million of those individuals experience symptoms that are debilitating and severe while another 20 million suffer from what’s considered burdensome and chronic tinnitus.
There’s a common link between loss of hearing and tinnitus, which is why people often turn to hearing aids to enhance their hearing and to drown out the ringing. While a hearing aid has proven to be an effective method of reducing the symptoms connected with tinnitus, there are behavioral actions you can take to decrease the ringing.
Here are 10 things to steer clear of if you have tinnitus:
- Loud noises; It may be obvious but the noises you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud sounds. If a scenario appears where you will be subjected to loud sounds, be cautious. This includes construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. If you can’t avoid loud settings, consider using earplugs to shield you from some of the noise. Earplugs can be very helpful for people whose job involves using loud machinery.
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can harm your blood pressure. In addition, it can narrow the blood vessels to the ears, which can make tinnitus symptoms more severe.
- Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax serves a beneficial role in the grand scheme of how your ears work. But actually dirt is trapped and our ears are protected by this gunk that we hate. That said, too much accumulation can make tinnitus worse. Your doctor might be able to help you relieve some of the accumulation and supply prevention tips to ensure it doesn’t accumulate to an unsafe level again.
- 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 ears and sinus have been known to intensify tinnitus, so be sure you’re doing everything you can to control your exposure to infections.
- Jaw issues; If you’re having pain in your jaw, you should already be visiting a doctor, but especially if you also have tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, minimizing jaw pain might have an impact on your tinnitus.
- Specific medicines; Over-the-counter medicines like aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be quite effective at soothing pain, but they may actually increase your tinnitus symptoms. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication like prescription cancer drugs or antibiotics. But before you stop taking a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should schedule a consultation.
- Caffeine; Here’s another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a surge in levels. You may also find that too much caffeine alters your sleeping habits.
- Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that says drinking a small glass of wine daily can have a positive impact on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that may be true; however, you absolutely can have too much of a good thing with regards to alcohol and tinnitus. For many people drinking too much alcohol makes tinnitus symptoms louder because it tends to raise your blood pressure.
- Hazardous blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus under control you should monitor your blood pressure which can also help safeguard you from other ailments. You should be diligent about regularly checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can worsen tinnitus.
- Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t kidding when she said you needed to get eight hours each night. Getting an adequate amount of sleep can assist you to avoid tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide array of other health benefits.
Though there’s no official cure for tinnitus, there are ways to control the symptoms and take back your life. Give these 10 recommendations 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.