There aren’t many conditions that are more complex to understand for those who don’t suffer from tinnitus. The problem with tinnitus is that if you are not afflicted with it, you won’t hear, see or feel the symptoms in the same way you would other ailments.
But for the almost 50 million Americans who experience some form of tinnitus, the condition is very real and can be very difficult to manage. Ringing in the ears is the best definition of tinnitus, 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 noises aren’t perceptible by others, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.
While that 50 million number is big, it’s even more astounding when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the overall public struggles with tinnitus. A report put out by the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports that 2 million of those people experience symptoms that are debilitating and extreme while another 20 million have what’s classified as burdensome and chronic tinnitus.
In order to enhance their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus frequently turn to hearing aids. There are commonplace things you can do to minimize the ringing along with using hearing aids.
Here are 10 things to steer clear of if you have tinnitus:
- Particular medicines; Over-the-counter medicines including aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be very good at soothing pain, but they may actually make your tinnitus symptoms worse. There are other prescription medications like cancer drugs and antibiotics that can also have an impact on tinnitus. But before you stop using a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should set up a consultation.
- Jaw issues; If you’re having jaw pain, you should already be consulting a doctor, but particularly if you also have tinnitus. Minimizing jaw pain might have some effect on your tinnitus because the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
- 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.
- Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively impacted by drinking a small amount of wine every day, or so the old adage goes. But when it comes 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 some people.
- Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of how your ears work, there’s no doubt that earwax helpful. Actually, the gunk we all hate actually traps dirt and protects your ears. In spite of this, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax builds up. Your doctor might be able to help you get rid of some of the accumulation and supply prevention advice to make sure it doesn’t build up to an unsafe level again.
- Dangerous blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is an important preventive tip that can help keep you safe from many conditions, but it also just might keep your tinnitus symptoms at bay. You should be persistent about routinely checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can worsen tinnitus.
- Caffeine; Once again, a surge in tinnitus levels goes along with this influence due to a rise in blood pressure. You will probably notice a change in sleeping habits if you drink too much caffeine.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t joking. Getting plenty of sleep can help you to avoid tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide variety of other health benefits.
- Loud noises; It might be obvious but the noises you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud noises. If a situation happens where you will be exposed to loud noises, be cautious. This can include concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. If you can’t stay away from loud settings, think about wearing earplugs to shield you from some of the noise. Individuals who have loud jobs are especially 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. Be sure you’re reducing your exposure to sinus and ear infections because they have been known to worsen tinnitus.
Though there’s no official cure for tinnitus, there are ways to regulate the symptoms and take back your life. 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, set up an appointment with a hearing specialist.