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

There are few conditions that are more complex to comprehend for people who don’t have tinnitus. That’s because unless you’re afflicted with tinnitus, you won’t feel, see 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 condition is very real and can be very challenging to deal with. Ringing in the ears is the best definition of tinnitus, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with clicking, whistling, hissing, swooshing, and buzzing. Maybe the most disheartening part of tinnitus is that these noises aren’t perceptible by others, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.

While that 50 million number is big, it’s even more astounding when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the overall public battles with tinnitus. A report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control states that 2 million of those individuals experience symptoms that are debilitating and extreme while another 20 million suffer from what’s considered burdensome and chronic tinnitus.

In order to augment their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus many times try hearing aids. There are commonplace things you can do to minimize the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.

Here are 10 things to stay away from if you have tinnitus:

  • Loud sounds; This one probably seems obvious, but it’s worth reiterating that loud noises can exacerbate the sounds you’re already hearing internally. If a situation appears where you will be subjected to loud sounds, be careful. This includes concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. Consider shielding your ears with earplugs if you can’t avoid the noise. Earplugs can be particularly helpful for individuals whose job involves working around loud machinery.
  • Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be raised by smoking. What’s more, it can narrow the blood vessels to the ears, which can cause tinnitus symptoms to get worse.
  • Caffeine; Here again, a spike in tinnitus levels comes along with this influence due to a rise in blood pressure. You will probably notice a change in sleeping habits if you consume too much caffeine.
  • Particular medicines; Particular medications like aspirin, as an example, are good at reducing pain but they may also trigger tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication like prescription antibiotics or cancer drugs. However, you should always consult with your physician about any problems you’re having before dropping a prescribed medication.
  • Jaw issues; You should consult a doctor if you have jaw pain and even more so if you have tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components such as nerves and ligaments, alleviating jaw pain may have an impact on your tinnitus.
  • Excess earwax; There’s no doubting that earwax serves a beneficial role in the grand scheme of how your ears work. In fact, the gunk we all hate actually traps dirt and protects your ears. That said, too much accumulation can make tinnitus worse. Your doctor may be able to help you reduce some of the buildup and give you prevention advice to ensure it doesn’t build up to an unsafe level again.
  • Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t kidding when she said you needed those eight hours every night. Sleep is another critical aspect of healthy living that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
  • Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively impacted by drinking a small glass of wine daily, or so the old adage 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 more evident for many people.
  • Infections; There’s a long-standing commentary about the need to find a cure for the common cold, specifically because a lingering cold can quickly change into a sinus infection. Infections in both the sinus and ears have been known to intensify tinnitus, so make certain you’re doing everything you can to reduce your exposure to infections.
  • Hazardous blood pressure levels; Monitoring your blood pressure is an important preventive strategy that can help keep you safe from many ailments, but it also just might keep your tinnitus symptoms under control. It’s significant to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can worsen tinnitus, so you should be careful about consistently checking your blood pressure.

Even though 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 might be surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your general health. If these don’t help, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.