For those who don’t suffer from tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more complex to understand. That’s because unless you’re afflicted with tinnitus, you won’t feel, see or hear the symptoms in the same way you might other conditions.
But for the nearly 50 million Americans who suffer from some form of tinnitus, the problem is very real and can be very difficult to deal with. Tinnitus is best characterized as ringing in the ears, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with whistling, hissing, swooshing, clicking, and buzzing. These sounds aren’t noticeable by others and that could be the most frustrating part of tinnitus, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.
While that 50 million number is big, it seems even more astounding when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the general public struggles with tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that roughly 20 million of those people have what’s classified as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million suffer from symptoms that are severe and debilitating.
In order to augment their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus many times turn to hearing aids. While a hearing aid has proven to be a reliable method of minimizing the symptoms associated with tinnitus, there are behavioral changes you can make to reduce the ringing.
If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:
- Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that says drinking a small amount of wine every day can have a positive influence on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that may 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 more evident for many people.
- Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax is helpful in the in the overall health of your ears. 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. To make certain it doesn’t accumulate to a dangerous amount, your doctor can clean some of it out and help with prevention.
- Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t kidding when she said you needed those eight hours each night. Sleep is another critical aspect of healthy living that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid triggers of tinnitus.
- Dangerous blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus at bay you should keep track of your blood pressure which can also help safeguard you from other illnesses. It’s significant to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can make your tinnitus worse, so you should be careful about regularly checking your blood pressure.
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can harm your blood pressure. In addition, it can narrow the blood vessels to the ears, which can cause tinnitus symptoms to get worse.
- Loud sounds; It may be obvious but the sounds you’re hearing internally can be made worse by loud sounds. Be cautious of situations where you’ll hear sounds at an increased level. This can include concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. If you can’t avoid loud settings, think about using earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Earplugs can be particularly helpful for people whose job involves using loud machinery.
- Caffeine; Here’s another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a rise in levels. You will most likely notice a change in sleeping habits if you drink too much caffeine.
- Specific medicines; Over-the-counter medicines including aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be really good at soothing pain, but they could actually increase your tinnitus symptoms. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication including prescription antibiotics or cancer drugs. But before you stop using a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should set up a consultation.
- Jaw issues; You should seek advice from a doctor if you have pain in your jaw and even more so if you are experiencing tinnitus. Reducing jaw pain may have some impact on your tinnitus because the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
- Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to find a cure for the common cold, specifically since a lingering cold can quickly change into a sinus infection. Make certain you’re controlling your exposure to ear and sinus infections because they have been known to intensify tinnitus.
You can take back your life and regulate your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no official 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, make an appointment with a hearing specialist.