Are You Making Your Tinnitus Worse?

As we have discussed on multiple blogs, tinnitus is the sensation of hearing sounds that are not present. We have talked about the initial causes and treatments for tinnitus, but we have not yet discussed what you may be doing that makes your already existing tinnitus worst.

Below is your Simi Valley audiologists list of top 10 things you are doing that may be making your tinnitus worse.

Loud Noises

This is probably not surprising, but the same factors that cause hearing loss can also make your tinnitus worse. Things like concerts, sporting events and headphone use can all make your tinnitus worse. You should avoid loud noises whenever possible. If you can’t, wear earplugs.

Medicine

Medication pills in a pile - Decibel Hearing

There are a number of medications known to cause damage to the ear; these are known as ototoxic medications. The list includes antibiotics, antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cancer drugs, diuretics and high doses of aspirin. Make sure to check the warning label of your medication. If you are taking an ototoxic drug, talk to your doctor. They can often prescribe you a similar medication that does not have the same side effects.

Stress

Ridding your life of stress is much easier said than done. Your Simi Valley audiologist recommends finding ways to relax to get the ringing under control. This includes exercise, deep breathing, massage and acupuncture.

Jaw Problems

One cause for tinnitus is neck or jaw problems, specifically temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome. This is because many of the same nerves and ligaments in your jaw are also found in your inner ear. Don’t hesitate to look into your jaw pain, as your doctor may be able to correct the problem and relieve you of the ringing.

Earwax

A buildup of earwax can lead to hearing loss, ear pain and tinnitus. All your Simi Valley audiologist has to do is look into your ear with a lighted instrument to see if you have impacted earwax. To avoid this DO NOT use a cotton swab to clean your ears. It just pushes the earwax in further.

Allergies

Treating your seasonal allergies can help reduce inflammation or extra fluid that can cause tinnitus.

Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can cause tinnitus. If you know you are prone to high blood pressure, invest in a home reader and check it often. If you need help controlling it, contact your doctor.

Sleep Issues

Not getting enough sleep can make your tinnitus worse. If you are having trouble getting at least eight hours of sleep a night, there are a number of tips to help you sleep better. If you are still having problems, contact your doctor as it may be caused by a sleep disorder.

Alcohol

Besides loosening you up at a social event, there are really no benefits to drinking alcohol. So this should come as no surprise that it can increase your blood pressure and thus, increase your tinnitus.

Smoking

There are exactly zero benefits to smoking. Smoking can narrow the blood vessels that supply  your ears with oxygen. That can increase your tinnitus.

As you can see, tinnitus can be caused and worsened by a number of things. But don’t let that get in the way of seeking treatment. Contact your Simi Valley audiologist today to learn more.

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