For people 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 might other conditions.
Tinnitus is a very real and extremely challenging experience for the nearly 50 million Americans who have it. Ringing in the ears is the best description of tinnitus, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. These sounds aren’t perceptible by others and that could be the most discouraging part of tinnitus, 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 put out by the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports that 2 million of those individuals experience symptoms that are debilitating and severe while another 20 million suffer from what’s classified as burdensome and chronic tinnitus.
In order to enhance their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus often turn to hearing aids. There are commonplace things you can do to decrease the ringing along with using hearing aids.
If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:
- Jaw issues; If you’re having pain in your jaw, you should already be contacting a doctor, but particularly if you also have tinnitus. Alleviating jaw pain might have some impact on your tinnitus because the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
- Loud noises; This one most likely seems obvious, but it’s worth reiterating that loud noises can exacerbate the sounds you’re already hearing internally. Be mindful of scenarios where you’ll be exposed to sounds at an elevated volume. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Consider shielding your ears with earplugs if you can’t avoid the noise. People who work at loud jobs are particularly benefited by ear plugs.
- 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 intensify tinnitus, so be certain you’re doing everything you can to control your exposure to infections.
- Excess earwax; There’s no doubting that earwax is helpful in the grand scheme of how your ears work. But actually dirt is trapped and our ears are protected by this sludge that we hate. 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 buildup and give you prevention tips to make sure it doesn’t accumulate to an unsafe level again.
- Unsafe blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus at bay you should keep track of 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 worsen tinnitus, so you should be careful about regularly checking your blood pressure.
- Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively affected by drinking a small glass of wine daily, or so the old adage 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 more evident for many people.
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can increase your blood pressure. What’s more, it can shrink the blood vessels to the ears, which can cause tinnitus symptoms to get worse.
- Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t kidding around when she said you needed those eight hours every night. Sleep is another critical aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide range of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
- Specific medicines; Particular medications such as aspirin, for example, are good at reducing pain but they could also trigger tinnitus. There are other prescription medications like cancer drugs and antibiotics that can also have an impact on tinnitus. But before you quit taking a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should schedule a consultation.
- Caffeine; Once again, a spike in tinnitus levels comes 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.
You can take back your life and manage your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no official cure. Give these 10 recommendations a shot, and you might be pleasantly surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your general health. If these don’t help, set up an appointment with a hearing care professional.