Hearing Assessment Center, LLC - Lutherville, Bel Air, and  Nottingham, MD

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

For people who don’t have tinnitus, there are few conditions more difficult to comprehend. 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 nearly 50 million Americans who suffer from it. Ringing in the ears is the best definition of tinnitus, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with clicking, whistling, hissing, swooshing, and buzzing. Maybe the most disheartening part of tinnitus is that these sounds aren’t detectable by others, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.

The number is truly astonishing when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the general public suffers from tinnitus. A report put out by the U.S. Center for Disease Control says that 2 million of those individuals experience symptoms that are debilitating and severe while another 20 million have 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 everyday things you can do to minimize the ringing along with using hearing aids.

Here are 10 things to avoid if you have tinnitus:

  • 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 ears and sinus have been known to intensify tinnitus, so be certain you’re doing everything you can to reduce your exposure to infections.
  • Hazardous blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus under control you should monitor your blood pressure which can also help safeguard you from other ailments. It’s important to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can worsen tinnitus, so you should be careful about routinely checking your blood pressure.
  • Excess earwax; There’s no doubting 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. Even so, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax builds up. Your doctor might be able to help you relieve some of the buildup and supply prevention tips to ensure it doesn’t build up to a dangerous level again.
  • Caffeine; Once again, a rise in tinnitus levels comes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You will probably notice a change in sleeping habits if you drink too much caffeine.
  • Loud noises; This one probably seems obvious, but it bears repeating that loud noises can exacerbate the sounds you’re already hearing internally. Be mindful of situations where you’ll be exposed to sounds at an increased volume. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Consider protecting your ears with earplugs if you can’t avoid the noise. People who have loud jobs are particularly benefited by ear plugs.
  • Some medicines; Over-the-counter medicines like aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be really good at easing pain, but they may actually increase your tinnitus symptoms. There are other prescription medications including cancer drugs and antibiotics that can also have an impact on tinnitus. However, you should always talk with your physician about any issues you’re having before stopping a prescribed medication.
  • Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can harm your blood pressure. What’s more, it can narrow the blood vessels to the ears, which can cause tinnitus symptoms to get worse.
  • Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t kidding when she said you needed those eight hours each night. Sleep is another crucial aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide range of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
  • Jaw issues; You should see a doctor if you have pain in your jaw and even more so if you are experiencing tinnitus. Minimizing jaw pain might have some effect on your tinnitus since the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
  • 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 may 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 more evident because it tends to increase your blood pressure.

Even though there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to regulate the symptoms and take back your life. 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, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.

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