For those who don’t suffer from tinnitus, there are few 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 ailments.
Tinnitus is a very real and extremely challenging experience for the almost 50 million Americans who suffer from it. Tinnitus is best characterized as ringing in the ears, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with clicking, whistling, hissing, swooshing, and buzzing. 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.
The number is truly astonishing when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the overall public has tinnitus. A report released 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 suffer from what’s classified as burdensome and chronic tinnitus.
There’s a common connection between loss of hearing and tinnitus, which is why people often turn to hearing aids to enhance their hearing and to drown out the ringing. While a hearing aid has shown to be a reliable method of reducing the symptoms connected with tinnitus, there are personal changes you can make to decrease the ringing.
Here are 10 things to stay away from if you suffer from tinnitus:
- Hazardous blood pressure levels; Monitoring your blood pressure is an important preventive tip that can help keep you safe from many ailments, but it also just may keep your tinnitus symptoms under control. It’s significant to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can worsen tinnitus, so you should be diligent about routinely checking your blood pressure.
- 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 controlling your exposure to ear and sinus infections because they have been known to intensify tinnitus.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t joking. Sleep is another essential aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid triggers of tinnitus.
- Loud noises; It may be obvious but the sounds you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud sounds. Be mindful of circumstances where you’ll hear sounds at an elevated volume. This includes construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Think about protecting your ears with earplugs if you can’t steer clear of the noise. Earplugs can be especially helpful for individuals whose job involves using loud machinery.
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can harm your blood pressure. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by shrinking the blood vessels to the ears.
- Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of how your ears work, it’s a known fact that earwax helpful. 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. To make sure it doesn’t accumulate to a dangerous amount, your doctor can clean some of it out and help with prevention.
- Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that says drinking a small glass of wine every day can have a positive influence on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that might be true; however, you absolutely can have too much of a good thing with regards to alcohol and tinnitus. For many people drinking too much alcohol causes tinnitus symptoms to be louder because it tends to increase your blood pressure.
- Some medicines; Certain medications like aspirin, for example, are good at decreasing pain but they may also induce tinnitus. There are other prescription medications including antibiotics and cancer drugs that can also have an impact on tinnitus. However, you should always talk with your physician about any problems you’re having before stopping a prescribed medication.
- Jaw issues; If you’re having jaw pain, you should already be consulting a doctor, but especially if you also suffer from tinnitus. Relieving jaw pain may have some impact on your tinnitus since the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
- Caffeine; Here’s yet another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a rise in levels. You might also find that too much caffeine changes your sleeping habits.
Although there’s no official cure for tinnitus, there are ways to regulate the symptoms and take back your life. You may be surprised in the changes in your overall health and your tinnitus symptoms if you try these 10 suggestions. If these don’t help, make an appointment with a hearing care professional.