There are few conditions that are more complex to understand for people who don’t suffer from tinnitus. That’s because unless you actually have tinnitus, 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. Tinnitus is best described as ringing in the ears, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. Maybe the most disheartening part of tinnitus is that these sounds aren’t detectable by others, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.
While that 50 million number is large, it’s even more astounding when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the general public battles with tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately 20 million of those people have what’s known as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million experience symptoms that are extreme and debilitating.
There’s a common connection between loss of hearing and tinnitus, which is why people frequently turn to hearing aids to augment their hearing and to drown out the ringing. There are commonplace things you can do to decrease the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.
Here are 10 things to avoid if you suffer from tinnitus:
- Caffeine; Here’s another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a spike in levels. You will probably notice a change in sleeping habits if you consume too much caffeine.
- Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of how your ears work, there’s no doubt that earwax helpful. But actually dirt is trapped and our ears are protected by this gunk that we hate. Even so, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax builds up. Your doctor may be able to help you relieve some of the buildup and give you prevention tips to make sure it doesn’t accumulate to a dangerous level again.
- Hazardous 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 significant to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can make your tinnitus worse, so you should be diligent about regularly checking your blood pressure.
- Certain medicines; Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be very effective at easing 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 quit using a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should set up a consultation.
- Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively affected by drinking a small amount of wine each day, 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 louder for some people.
- 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.
- 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 reduce your exposure to infections.
- Loud sounds; It may be obvious but the noises you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud noises. Be cautious of scenarios where you’ll be exposed to sounds at an increased level. This includes construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Consider protecting your ears with earplugs if you can’t avoid the noise. Earplugs can be especially helpful for people whose job involves using loud machinery.
- Jaw issues; You should consult a doctor if you have pain in your jaw and even more so if you have tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, minimizing jaw pain may have an effect on your tinnitus.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you need to get your eight hours of sleep each night, she wasn’t kidding. Getting plenty of sleep can assist you to stay away from tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide array of other health benefits.
You can take back your life and manage your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no known cure. You might be surprised in the changes in your general health and your tinnitus symptoms if you try these 10 recommendations. If these don’t help, schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist.