Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

Red wine and too much alcohol is just one of the things you should avoid when you have tinnitus.

For those who don’t suffer from tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more difficult to understand. The problem with tinnitus is that if you are not afflicted with it, you won’t see, feel, or hear the symptoms in the same way you would other ailments.

Tinnitus is a very real and extremely challenging experience for the almost 50 million Americans who suffer from it. Ringing in the ears is the best classification of tinnitus, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. These sounds aren’t perceptible by others and that could be the most discouraging 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 overall public struggles with tinnitus. A report put out by the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports that 2 million of those people experience symptoms that are debilitating and severe while another 20 million suffer from what’s considered burdensome and chronic tinnitus.

There’s a common link between hearing loss and tinnitus, which is why people often turn to hearing aids to enhance their hearing and to drown out the ringing. There are commonplace things you can do to decrease the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.

If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:

  • Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you need to get your eight hours of sleep each night, she wasn’t kidding. Getting enough sleep can help you to avoid tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide range of other health benefits.
  • Dangerous blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus in check you should keep track of your blood pressure which can also help safeguard you from other ailments. You should be persistent about consistently checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can make tinnitus worse.
  • Specific medicines; Certain medications such as aspirin, for example, are good at decreasing pain but they may also trigger tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication including prescription antibiotics or cancer drugs. However, you should always talk with your physician about any issues you’re having before stopping a prescribed medication.
  • Caffeine; Here’s another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a spike in levels. You will most likely notice a change in sleeping habits if you consume too much caffeine.
  • Loud sounds; This one probably seems obvious, but it’s worth reiterating that loud noises can exacerbate the sounds you’re already hearing internally. If a situation happens where you will be exposed to loud noises, be cautious. This can include concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. Think about protecting your ears with earplugs if you can’t avoid the noise. People who have loud jobs are particularly benefited by ear plugs.
  • Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of how your ears work, there’s no doubt that earwax plays a positive role. In fact, the sludge we all hate actually traps dirt and protects your ears. In spite of this, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax builds up. To make certain it doesn’t build up to a dangerous amount, your doctor can clear some of it out and help with prevention.
  • Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to find a cure for the common cold, specifically because a lingering cold can quickly morph into a sinus infection. Be certain you’re controlling your exposure to ear and sinus infections because they have can intensify tinnitus.
  • Alcohol; There’s a common adage that states drinking a small glass of wine every day can have a positive impact 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 some people.
  • Jaw issues; If you’re having pain in your jaw, you should already be contacting a doctor, but particularly if you also have tinnitus. Because the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, minimizing jaw pain may have an impact on your tinnitus.
  • Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be increased by smoking. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by narrowing the blood vessels to the ears.

Though there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to manage 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, set up an appointment with a hearing specialist.

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