Everyone has a guilty pleasure. For some, it is indulging in foods that taste good but won’t help their high blood pressure. For others, it’s smoking despite health warnings. While many people know smoking can damage your lungs, not everyone with tinnitus knows that smoking can worsen the ringing in their ears.
Smoking has detrimental effects on the ears in various ways. It elevates blood pressure, reducing blood flow to the cochlea and exacerbating tinnitus symptoms. Nicotine, a stimulant, heightens awareness of tinnitus, disrupts auditory nerve signals, and causes inflammation. Carbon monoxide, a byproduct of smoking, decreases oxygen in the blood, which is crucial for cell health. Cigarettes produce harmful chemicals like beryllium, formaldehyde, nickel, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, contributing to shortness of breath and immune system damage. Cadmium, arsenic, vinyl chloride, lead, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide can harm the nervous system. Vaping fluid, largely composed of propylene glycol, is linked to potential hearing loss.
The longer you smoke or live in heavy concentrations of secondhand smoke, the more damage it may cause to your hearing. However, here are eight things you can do to feel better and manage your symptoms.
Table of Contents
1. Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking may be challenging, but it is crucial for improving the impact on your tinnitus. The sooner you quit, and the longer you remain smoke-free, the better your prognosis becomes. Various programs are available to assist in overcoming smoking habits. Your body undergoes positive transformations once you eliminate the constant influx of toxins. Within 24 hours, blood pressure normalizes, and after 21 days, biochemistry returns to normal. At 90 days, cardiovascular disease risks decline, and breathing during exercise becomes easier. Over the first nine months, lung tissues regenerate, fortifying defenses against bronchial diseases. Cardiovascular disease risks decrease by 50% after one year, reaching the same level as nonsmokers after 15 years.
2. Avoid foods that worsen symptoms
Excess sodium or saturated fats in your diet can affect circulation to your ears, impacting the severity of your tinnitus symptoms.
3. Use tinnitus natural supplements
Taking ginkgo biloba for ear ringing lowers inflammation, improves nerve conductivity, and increases cellular regeneration and healing.
4. Actively manage your stress levels
Stress can increase symptoms. Additionally, high stress activates your fight or flight system, which makes you hyper-aware of your symptoms.
5. Perform tinnitus reduction exercises
It helps relax the tissues around the ear.
6. Get adequate sleep
Insomnia can make everything worse. It also increases stress, which will affect the severity of your symptoms.
7. Live an active lifestyle
It keeps your mind focused on pleasurable activities rather than your tinnitus.
8. Putting It All Together
It can be hard to let go of things we enjoy, especially when you don’t see an immediate payoff. Keeping track of your symptoms and any improvements will incentivize you to keep going.
As with most health-related problems, treating the whole person rather than focusing on only one complaint can be counterproductive. Adopting a healthier lifestyle centered around healthy habits will ultimately give you the best possible outcome.