For people who don’t have tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more complex to comprehend. 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 is often very difficult to manage. Ringing in the ears is the best classification of tinnitus, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. Maybe the most frustrating part of tinnitus is that these noises aren’t detectable by others, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.
While that 50 million number is large, it seems even more staggering 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 around 20 million of those individuals have what’s classified as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million suffer from symptoms that are extreme and debilitating.
There’s a common link between hearing loss and tinnitus, which is why people frequently turn to hearing aids to augment 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 actions you can take to minimize the ringing.
Here are 10 things to avoid if you have tinnitus:
- 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.
- Dangerous blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus under control you should keep track of your blood pressure which can also help protect you from other ailments. It’s important to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can worsen tinnitus, so you should be persistent about routinely checking your blood pressure.
- Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that says drinking a small amount of wine daily can have a positive impact on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that could be true; however, you definitely can have too much of a good thing with regards to alcohol and tinnitus. For some people drinking too much alcohol makes tinnitus symptoms louder because it tends to increase your blood pressure.
- 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.
- Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to cure the common cold, especially since a lingering cold can quickly morph into a sinus infection. Infections in both the sinus and ears have been known to aggravate tinnitus, so be certain you’re doing everything you can to limit your exposure to infections.
- Certain medicines; Certain medications such as aspirin, for example, are good at relieving pain but they might 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.
- Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of how your ears work, it’s a known fact that earwax helpful. As a matter of fact, the gunk we all hate actually traps dirt and protects your ears. That being said, too much accumulation can make tinnitus worse. To make sure it doesn’t build up to an unsafe amount, your doctor can clean 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 suffer from tinnitus. Minimizing jaw pain may have some impact on your tinnitus because the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t kidding. Sleep is another crucial aspect of healthy living that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid triggers of tinnitus.
- Loud sounds; This one most likely seems obvious, but it’s worth reiterating that loud noises can worsen the sounds you’re already hearing internally. If a scenario arises where you will be subjected to loud noises, be cautious. This includes construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. If you can’t stay away from loud settings, consider using earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Earplugs can be particularly helpful for individuals whose job involves using loud machinery.
Although there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to control 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, schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist.