Tinnitus, a persistent ringing in the ears, humming, hissing, or roaring sound in the ear or ears without an external corresponding sound, is a bothersome malady that is usually a symptom of other issues. Some of these issues cannot be prevented, such as age related hearing loss, but many times tinnitus is avoidable. Like with other health concerns, the old cliché rings true: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But what are the best ways to prevent tinnitus? Read on for some of the best ways to keep tinnitus away.
- Loud music and noise are the enemies of your ears. If you can’t or don’t want to avoid loud environments, protect your ears with ear plugs. Music lovers should avoid listening to music through headphones at full volume; a third of full volume is usually the loudest level at which to listen. DJs and professional musicians should use specialized filtered earplugs to avoid damage. These allow sound attenuation across a wide range of frequencies. Even the noise from a hair dryer or a vacuum cleaner can be a factor in the onset of tinnitus, so wear your earplugs even for these activities. Know that if you already are hearing a ringing in the ears for several hours after exposure to loud noise, you are already at a severe risk to tinnitus.
- If you have experienced some hearing loss, use a hearing aid, which may help eliminate ear ringing.
- Take care of your circulatory system (and in turn the blood vessels in the ears) by limiting your intake of coffee, alcoholic beverages, and heavily salted foods. Smoking can also have a negative effect on the circulatory system, so cut down if you can. Also, if you are prescribed blood pressure medication, take it religiously.
- Keep a keen eye on your medications. Both prescription and non-prescription medications can be possible causes of tinnitus, and the number of known medicines which list tinnitus as a side effect is over two hundred. Aspirin especially, as well as many antibiotics and antidepressants, have the highest percentage of users who suffer from tinnitus as a side effect. Please consult with your physician before you stop or change any prescription medications.
- Leave your ears alone! To employ another cliché, don’t put another smaller in your ear than your elbow. That especially includes cotton swabs or Q-tips, which are known to impact ear wax against the eardrum.
- Stop worrying about it. Seriously, it might sound silly, but not only can anxiety play a role in tinnitus, but concentrating on existing tinnitus can worsen symptoms.
- Follow good health practices. Get enough sleep (at least seven to eight hours per night, uninterrupted), and exercise regularly (the standard recommendation is thirty minutes, three times per week). That being said, do your best to maintain a healthy weight. Tinnitus arises more frequently in obese populations.
- If you think you might be developing tinnitus symptoms, immediately contact your physician so you can begin mitigating the effects as soon as possible. New treatments are being developed that might be able to repair early stage tinnitus.