There aren’t many conditions that are more complex to comprehend for people who don’t suffer from 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 almost 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 described as ringing in the ears, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. These sounds aren’t detectable by others and that might be the most discouraging part of tinnitus, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.
While that 50 million number is huge, it seems even more staggering when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the general public struggles with tinnitus. A report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control states that 2 million of those people experience symptoms that are debilitating and extreme while another 20 million have what’s considered burdensome and chronic tinnitus.
In order to enhance their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus often try hearing aids. There are commonplace things you can do to reduce the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.
Here are 10 things to stay away from if you have tinnitus:
- Specific medicines; Certain medications such as aspirin, as an example, are good at relieving pain but they might also trigger tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication including prescription cancer drugs or antibiotics. But before you quit using a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should schedule a consultation.
- 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. Infections in both the sinus and ears have been known to aggravate tinnitus, so be sure you’re doing everything you can to limit your exposure to infections.
- Loud sounds; This one probably seems obvious, but it bears reiterating that loud noises can exacerbate the sounds you’re already hearing internally. Be mindful of situations where you’ll hear sounds at an increased level. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. If you can’t stay away from loud settings, consider wearing earplugs to shield you from some of the noise. Earplugs can be particularly helpful for individuals whose job involves working around loud machinery.
- Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively impacted by drinking a small glass of wine daily, or so the old adage goes. But when it comes to alcohol and tinnitus, you can have too much of a good thing. Drinking too much alcohol raises your blood pressure, which makes the ringing more evident for some people.
- Harmful 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 diligent about regularly checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can worsen tinnitus.
- Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be raised by smoking. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by shrinking the blood vessels to the ears.
- 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 sludge that we hate. That said, too much accumulation can make tinnitus worse. Your doctor may be able to help you get rid of some of the buildup and provide prevention advice to make sure it doesn’t accumulate to a dangerous level again.
- Jaw issues; If you’re having jaw pain, you should already be contacting a doctor, but especially if you also have tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, minimizing jaw pain might have an effect on your tinnitus.
- Caffeine; Here’s another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a surge in levels. You could also find that too much caffeine alters your sleeping habits.
- Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you need to get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t joking. Sleep is another critical aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
You can take back your life and control your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no known cure. You might be surprised in the changes in your general health and your tinnitus symptoms if you try these 10 suggestions. If these don’t help, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.