If you experience tinnitus, you know the ringing has a way of affecting life as you know it.
The ringing in your ears may be there all the time, only in the quiet moments, or come and go at seemingly random times. Depending on its severity, it can make be difficult to ignore.
Some 50 million Americans have tinnitus, which can also sound like humming, buzzing, hissing, clicking or swooshing. Nearly 20 million of the cases are considered chronic, with two million experiencing a severe, debilitating variety. The condition is often caused by hearing loss, although it can also stem from medications, allergies, heart disease, or jaw and neck problems.
Although there is no cure for tinnitus, Audio Help Hearing Centers in New York City and Stamford, Connecticut remind you there are some things you can do to live a more normal life with the condition:
- Limit your use of stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. “Vices” such as coffee, smoking and drinking have been known to increase tinnitus symptoms.
- Tinnitus is often at its worst at nighttime, when background noise is limited. White noise such as a fan, ticking clock or radio at a low volume can help mask the sound and make it less annoying.
- Elevate your head when sleeping. Putting an extra pillow or two under your head lessens head congestion, which may reduce the impact of tinnitus.
- Avoid noisy situations such as concerts that may aggravate tinnitus or wear protective ear wear when possible.
- Wearing hearing aids can help as they amplify other sounds, making the ringing in your head less noticeable.
- Get plenty of sleep and do what you can to avoid anxiety and stress, as these can worsen symptoms.
- Counseling or a support group can prove beneficial. Audio Help offers tinnitus retraining services and monthly aural rehabilitation classes that address many issues people experience with hearing loss.