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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 complex to comprehend for people who don’t have tinnitus. That’s because unless you actually have tinnitus, you won’t feel, see or hear the symptoms in the same way you might other conditions.

But for the nearly 50 million Americans who experience some form of tinnitus, the condition is very real and is often very difficult to deal with. Tinnitus is best described as ringing in the ears, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with clicking, whistling, hissing, swooshing, and buzzing. These sounds aren’t perceptible by others and that could be the most disheartening part of tinnitus, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.

The number is truly staggering when you consider that 15 percent of the overall public suffers from tinnitus. A report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control says 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.

In order to enhance their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus often turn to hearing aids. There are everyday things you can do to decrease the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.

Here are 10 things to steer clear of if you have tinnitus:

  • Caffeine; Once again, a rise in tinnitus levels comes along with this influence due to a rise in blood pressure. You might also find that too much caffeine changes your sleeping habits.
  • Certain medicines; Certain medications like aspirin, as an example, are good at reducing pain but they could also induce tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication such as prescription antibiotics or cancer drugs. However, you should always talk with your doctor about any problems you’re having before stopping a prescribed medication.
  • Jaw issues; If you’re having jaw pain, you should already be consulting a doctor, but especially if you also suffer from tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, reducing jaw pain may have an effect on your tinnitus.
  • Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can raise your blood pressure. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by narrowing the blood vessels to the ears.
  • Loud noises; It may be obvious but the sounds you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud noises. Be careful of scenarios where you’ll be exposed to sounds at an increased level. This can include concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. Consider shielding your ears with earplugs if you can’t avoid the noise. Earplugs can be especially helpful for people whose job involves working around loud machinery.
  • Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you need to get your eight hours of sleep each night, she wasn’t joking. Sleep is another crucial aspect of healthy living that offers a wide range of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
  • Infections; There’s a long-standing commentary about the need to cure the common cold, particularly because a lingering cold can quickly morph into a sinus infection. Infections in both the sinus and ears have been known to aggravate tinnitus, so be certain you’re doing everything you can to limit your exposure to infections.
  • Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively affected by drinking a small glass of wine daily, or so the old saying goes. But with regards to alcohol and tinnitus, you can have too much of a good thing. Drinking too much alcohol increases your blood pressure, which makes the ringing louder for many people.
  • Excess earwax; When it comes to how your ears work, it’s a known fact that earwax helpful. 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 builds up. Your doctor might be able to help you get rid of some of the buildup and supply prevention advice to make sure it doesn’t build up to an unsafe level again.
  • Harmful blood pressure levels; Monitoring your blood pressure is an essential preventive tip that will help keep you safe from many conditions, but it also just might keep your tinnitus symptoms at bay. You should be careful about regularly checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure 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 try, and you might be pleasantly surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your general health. If these don’t help, make an appointment with a hearing care professional.