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What Lifestyle Factors Influence Tinnitus

a woman experiencing slight ear discomfort

Tinnitus can affect anyone, no matter who they are, where they live or what they do. Most of us are familiar with the annoying ringing that can be very distracting and even lead to losing sleep. It's usually followed by a lack of hearing, and the cumulative result is as if someone crammed a handful of cotton wool into your ears and then misplaced their alarm clock in the process.

Tinnitus affects many people, and it manifests itself in a variety of ways. Some people report hearing a ringing, while others report hearing a hissing, humming, ticking or even clicking.

Tinnitus will go away on its own in most cases, but some people get it much more often. This is since their lifestyles are more suited to the underlying causes of tinnitus. Tinnitus is never the problem; it is always a symptom of something else.

Although other factors, such as genetic history, play a role, lifestyle plays a major role in tinnitus onset. Tinnitus can be brought about by a variety of lifestyle causes, including:

Hearing loss

The inner ear structures may deteriorate with age, leading some people to hear sounds that aren't there. It’s important to speak to your audiologist if you believe you’re experiencing hearing loss. They will be able to diagnose your tinnitus and determine the likely cause, as well as set you on a path of treatment. However, there are other reasons you may have tinnitus, as outlined below.

Loud noises

There are a few explanations why we often hear loud noises in our everyday lives. It may be optional in some situations, but we may have no choice in others. Some of us work around loud machines or in noisy settings, while others enjoy live music or a lively nightlife.

What brings you into contact with a loud noise, it is important that your ears are protected. Your audiologist can advise you about the right type of hearing protection for your needs and lifestyle.

Stress 

When there is a lot of stress in your life, hypertension is common. Tinnitus is more common in people who have stressful jobs and lifestyles because their blood pressure is always higher. Tinnitus and hypertension sometimes coexist.

Physical contact sport

Tinnitus is often caused by head trauma or actions that require rapid head movement or blows to the head. This is because tinnitus is often caused by spasms of the inner ear's tiny muscles. Many who compete in boxing, wrestling, mixed martial arts or other sports that include frequent light head trauma are at a higher risk of developing tinnitus.

Alcohol consumption

You put in a lot of effort at work, so you deserve to relax! However, medical research has found a strong correlation between tinnitus and excessive alcohol consumption. Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink during the week to see if the tinnitus improves.

Snacks with high salt content

It's great to find comfort in the salty treats in your office vending machine after a long day at work. However, because of the correlation between salt intake and hypertension, increased sodium intake is also related to an increased risk of tinnitus.

Caffeine 

Coffee is a great way to start the day and increase energy levels. However, because caffeine in coffee increases your blood pressure, you may experience tinnitus because of this. Consider switching to decaf coffee and reduce the amount of caffeine you consume to see if it improves your tinnitus.

Ear hygiene

Ear hygiene is vital because if you don't keep your ears clean and dry, they'll be more susceptible to infections. This could have an effect on your ear's protection, and if it's bad enough, it could affect your hearing. Earwax is beneficial to your ears because it protects the follicles from dirt, but too much of it can be harmful. If the earwax becomes too difficult to wash away naturally, it's important to get it removed.

Medical conditions

Tinnitus may be caused by an infection in the ear canal, head trauma, or surgery near the ear. It's crucial to talk to your doctor about possible causes of tinnitus, such as Meniere’s disease, thyroid imbalance or brain tumors.

Medication 

Tinnitus is a common side effect of many medications, and some drugs are potentially dangerous to the ear. Speak to your audiologist about your drugs and supplements to see if one or a combination of them is causing ringing in your ears.

If you have tinnitus, speak to an audiologist as they can help determine the best tinnitus treatment option available. Call Arkansas Professional Hearing Care today at 501-614-7904 to book an appointment.