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Red wine and too much alcohol is just one of the things you should avoid when you have tinnitus.

There aren’t many conditions that are more difficult to understand for those who don’t have tinnitus. The problem with tinnitus is that if you are not afflicted with it, you won’t see, feel, or hear the symptoms in the same way you would other conditions.

Tinnitus is a very real and extremely challenging experience for the nearly 50 million Americans who suffer from it. Ringing in the ears is the best definition of tinnitus, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with whistling, hissing, swooshing, clicking, and buzzing. These sounds aren’t noticeable by others and that might be the most discouraging part of tinnitus, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.

The number is truly staggering when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the overall public suffers from tinnitus. A report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports that 2 million of those individuals experience symptoms that are debilitating and extreme while another 20 million have what’s considered burdensome and chronic tinnitus.

There’s a common connection between loss of hearing and tinnitus, which is why people frequently turn to hearing aids to enhance their hearing and to drown out the ringing. While a hearing aid has proven to be an effective method of lessening the symptoms linked with tinnitus, there are behavioral actions you can take to minimize the ringing.

If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:

  • Certain medicines; Certain medications like aspirin, for example, are good at relieving pain but they could also induce tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication including prescription antibiotics or cancer drugs. However, you should always talk with your physician about any issues you’re having before stopping a prescribed medication.
  • Alcohol; There’s a common adage that says drinking a small amount of wine daily can have a positive effect on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that may be true; however, you definitely can have too much of a good thing when it comes to alcohol and tinnitus. Drinking too much alcohol raises your blood pressure, which makes the ringing louder for some people.
  • Dangerous blood pressure levels; Monitoring your blood pressure is an important preventive tip that can help keep you safe from many illnesses, but it also just might keep your tinnitus symptoms at bay. It’s important to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can make your tinnitus worse, so you should be careful about consistently checking your blood pressure.
  • Loud sounds; It might be obvious but the noises you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud noises. If a situation happens where you will be subjected to loud noises, be careful. This includes construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. If you can’t avoid loud settings, think about wearing earplugs to shield you from some of the noise. Individuals who have loud jobs are particularly benefited by ear plugs.
  • Caffeine; Here’s yet another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a surge in levels. You will most likely notice a change in sleeping habits if you drink too much caffeine.
  • Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can harm your blood pressure. In addition, it can shrink the blood vessels to the ears, which can make tinnitus symptoms more severe.
  • Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t kidding around when she said you needed those eight hours each night. Sleep is another essential aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide range of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
  • Excess earwax; When it comes to how your ears work, it’s a known fact that earwax plays a positive role. But actually dirt is trapped and our ears are protected by this sludge that we hate. In spite of this, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax accumulates. Your doctor may be able to help you reduce some of the accumulation and give you prevention advice to make sure it doesn’t build up to a dangerous level again.
  • Jaw issues; If you’re having pain in your jaw, you should already be consulting a doctor, but especially if you also have tinnitus. Because the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, reducing jaw pain may have an effect on your tinnitus.
  • Infections; Since a lingering cold can quickly turn into a sinus infection there has always been commentary about the need to find a cure for it. Be certain you’re controlling your exposure to sinus and ear infections because they have can worsen tinnitus.

Although there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to regulate the symptoms and take back your life. Give these 10 recommendations a shot, and you may be surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your overall health. If these don’t help, schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist.