There aren’t many conditions that are more complex to comprehend for those who don’t have tinnitus. That’s because unless you’re afflicted with tinnitus, you won’t see, feel or hear the symptoms in the same way you would other ailments.
But for the almost 50 million Americans who suffer from some form of tinnitus, the condition is very real and can be very difficult to manage. Tinnitus is best described as ringing in the ears, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with clicking, whistling, hissing, swooshing, and buzzing. Maybe the most discouraging part of tinnitus is that these noises aren’t detectable 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 suffers from tinnitus. A report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control says that 2 million of those people experience symptoms that are debilitating and extreme while another 20 million have what’s known as burdensome and chronic tinnitus.
In order to augment their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus many times try hearing aids. There are everyday things you can do to decrease the ringing along with using hearing aids.
If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:
- Loud noises; It may be obvious but the noises you’re hearing internally can be made worse by loud noises. Be careful of circumstances where you’ll be exposed to sounds at an elevated volume. This includes concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. If you can’t stay away from loud settings, consider using earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Earplugs can be very helpful for people whose job involves working around loud machinery.
- Some medicines; Particular medications like aspirin, as an example, are good at reducing pain but they may also trigger tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medications like prescription antibiotics or cancer drugs. But before you quit taking a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should schedule a consultation.
- Unsafe blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus under control you should monitor your blood pressure which can also help protect you from other ailments. You should be persistent about routinely checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can worsen tinnitus.
- Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can raise your blood pressure. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by narrowing the blood vessels to the ears.
- Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to cure the common cold, particularly because a lingering cold can quickly change into a sinus infection. Infections in both the sinus and ears have been known to intensify tinnitus, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to limit your exposure to infections.
- Excess earwax; There’s no doubting that earwax serves a beneficial role in the grand scheme of how your ears work. As a matter of fact, the gunk we all hate actually catches dirt and protects your ears. That said, too much buildup can cause tinnitus to get worse. To make sure it doesn’t build up to a dangerous amount, your doctor can clear some of it out and help with prevention.
- Jaw issues; If you’re having jaw pain, you should already be consulting a doctor, but particularly if you also have tinnitus. Alleviating jaw pain might have some effect on your tinnitus since the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
- Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t kidding when she said you needed those eight hours each night. Getting plenty of sleep can assist you in staying away from tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide range of other health benefits.
- Caffeine; Here again, a rise in tinnitus levels goes along with this influence due to a rise in blood pressure. You might also find that too much caffeine changes your sleeping habits.
- Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively affected 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. For many people drinking too much alcohol makes tinnitus symptoms louder because it tends to raise your blood pressure.
You can take back your life and manage your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no official cure. Give these 10 suggestions a try, and you might be surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your overall health. If these don’t help, make an appointment with a hearing specialist.