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

For those who don’t suffer from tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more complex to understand. 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 is often 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 frustrating part of tinnitus is that these sounds aren’t perceptible by others, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.

While that 50 million number is huge, it seems even more astounding when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the general public struggles with tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately 20 million of those individuals have what’s known as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million experience symptoms that are extreme and debilitating.

There’s a common link between loss of hearing and tinnitus, which is why people frequently turn to hearing aids to augment their hearing and to drown out the ringing. While a hearing aid has shown to be a reliable method of lessening the symptoms linked with tinnitus, there are personal actions you can take to minimize the ringing.

If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:

  • Harmful blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus at bay you should monitor your blood pressure which can also help protect you from other ailments. It’s significant to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can worsen tinnitus, so you should be persistent about consistently checking your blood pressure.
  • Caffeine; Here’s another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a spike in levels. You might also find that too much caffeine alters your sleeping habits.
  • Jaw issues; If you’re having pain in your jaw, you should already be contacting a doctor, but especially if you also suffer from tinnitus. Reducing jaw pain might have some impact on your tinnitus because the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
  • Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that states drinking a small glass of wine every day can have a positive impact on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that might 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 more evident for many people.
  • Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t kidding. Getting plenty of sleep can help you to stay away from tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide array of other health benefits.
  • Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax serves a beneficial role in the in the overall health of your ears. As a matter of fact, the gunk we all hate actually catches dirt and protects your ears. In spite of this, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax accumulates. To make certain it doesn’t build up 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. Infections in both the ears and sinus have been known to aggravate tinnitus, so make certain you’re doing everything you can to control your exposure to infections.
  • Loud noises; It may be obvious but the noises you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud sounds. Be mindful of scenarios where you’ll be exposed to sounds at an elevated level. This can include concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. Think about shielding your ears with earplugs if you can’t avoid the noise. Individuals who have loud jobs are particularly benefited by ear plugs.
  • Certain medicines; Certain medications such as aspirin, as an example, are good at relieving pain but they might also induce tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication including prescription cancer drugs or antibiotics. However, you should always consult with your physician about any problems you’re having before stopping a prescribed medication.
  • Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can increase your blood pressure. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by shrinking the blood vessels to the ears.

Even though there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to regulate the symptoms and take back your life. Give these 10 suggestions a try, and you might be pleasantly surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your overall health. If these don’t help, set up an appointment with a hearing care professional.