There aren’t many conditions that are more difficult to comprehend for people who don’t have 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 conditions.
But for the nearly 50 million Americans who experience some form of tinnitus, the problem is very real and can be very challenging to manage. Ringing in the ears is the best description of tinnitus, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with clicking, whistling, hissing, swooshing, and buzzing. These sounds aren’t noticeable by others and that could be the most disheartening part of tinnitus, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.
The number is truly astonishing when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the general public has tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that around 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 loss of hearing and tinnitus, which is why people frequently turn to hearing aids to enhance their hearing and to drown out the ringing. While a hearing aid has proven to be a reliable method of minimizing the symptoms linked with tinnitus, there are behavioral changes you can make to decrease the ringing.
Here are 10 things to stay away from if you suffer from tinnitus:
- Alcohol; There’s a common adage that says drinking a small glass of wine daily can have a positive influence on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that could be true; however, you absolutely can have too much of a good thing when it comes to alcohol and tinnitus. Drinking too much alcohol increases your blood pressure, which makes the ringing louder for many people.
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can harm your blood pressure. Additionally, it can shrink the blood vessels to the ears, which can make tinnitus symptoms more severe.
- Caffeine; Here again, a rise in tinnitus levels comes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You will probably notice a change in sleeping habits if you drink too much caffeine.
- Loud sounds; It might be obvious but the noises you’re hearing internally can be made worse by loud noises. Be mindful of scenarios where you’ll hear 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 working around loud machinery.
- Infections; There’s a long-standing commentary about the need to find a cure for the common cold, especially because a lingering cold can quickly change into a sinus infection. Make certain you’re controlling your exposure to sinus and ear infections because they have been known to aggravate tinnitus.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t kidding. Sleep is another critical aspect of healthy living that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
- Hazardous blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is an important preventive strategy that can help keep you safe from many conditions, but it also just may keep your tinnitus symptoms under control. You should be diligent about regularly checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can worsen tinnitus.
- Excess earwax; When it comes to how your ears work, it’s a known fact that earwax plays a positive role. As a matter of fact, the sludge we all hate actually catches dirt and protects your ears. In spite of this, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax builds up. To make sure it doesn’t accumulate to an unsafe amount, your doctor can clean some of it out and help with prevention.
- Jaw issues; You should seek advice from a doctor if you have jaw pain and even more so if you have tinnitus. Because the jaw and ears share components such as nerves and ligaments, minimizing jaw pain might have an impact on your tinnitus.
- Certain medicines; Certain medications such as aspirin, as an example, are good at decreasing pain but they may also trigger tinnitus. There are other prescription medications like antibiotics and cancer drugs that can also have an impact on tinnitus. But before you quit using a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should get a consultation.
You can take back your life and manage your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no known cure. Give these 10 suggestions a shot, and you may be surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your general health. If these don’t help, make an appointment with a hearing specialist.