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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 understand for people 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.

But for the nearly 50 million Americans who suffer from some form of tinnitus, the problem is very real and can be very challenging to deal with. Ringing in the ears is the best classification of tinnitus, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with clicking, whistling, hissing, swooshing, and buzzing. These sounds aren’t noticeable 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 has tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that roughly 20 million of those individuals have what’s known as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million suffer from symptoms that are severe and debilitating.

In order to augment their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus many times turn to hearing aids. There are everyday things you can do to decrease the ringing along with using hearing aids.

Here are 10 things to avoid if you suffer from tinnitus:

  • Dangerous blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus in check you should monitor your blood pressure which can also help safeguard you from other illnesses. You should be diligent about regularly checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can make tinnitus worse.
  • Alcohol; There’s a common adage that states drinking a small glass of wine every day can have a positive effect on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that could be true; however, you absolutely can have too much of a good thing with regards to alcohol and tinnitus. Drinking too much alcohol raises your blood pressure, which makes the ringing louder for many people.
  • Jaw issues; You should see a doctor if you have jaw pain and even more so if you have tinnitus. Minimizing jaw pain may have some impact on your tinnitus because the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
  • Loud sounds; This one most likely seems obvious, but it bears reiterating that loud noises can exacerbate the sounds you’re already hearing internally. If a scenario happens where you will be subjected to loud sounds, be mindful. This can include concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. If you can’t abstain from loud settings, think about using earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Earplugs can be particularly helpful for individuals whose job involves working around loud machinery.
  • 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. Even so, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax builds up. To make sure it doesn’t accumulate to an unsafe amount, your doctor can clear some of it out and help with prevention.
  • 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 reducing your exposure to sinus and ear infections because they have been known to aggravate tinnitus.
  • Caffeine; Here’s yet another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a rise in levels. You may also find that too much caffeine changes your sleeping habits.
  • Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t joking when she said you needed to get eight hours every night. Getting enough sleep can assist you to avoid tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide array of other health benefits.
  • Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can increase your blood pressure. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by narrowing the blood vessels to the ears.
  • Particular medicines; Particular medications such as aspirin, for example, are good at relieving pain but they might also induce tinnitus. There are other prescription medications including antibiotics and cancer drugs that can also have an impact on tinnitus. However, you should always talk with your physician about any issues you’re having before dropping a prescribed medication.

Although there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to control the symptoms and take back your life. You may be surprised in the changes in your general health and your tinnitus symptoms if you try these 10 suggestions. If these don’t help, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.