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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 difficult to comprehend 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 ailments.

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

The number is really staggering when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the overall public suffers from tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that around 20 million of those individuals have what’s known as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million suffer from symptoms that are extreme and debilitating.

There’s a common connection between loss of hearing and tinnitus, which is why people often turn to hearing aids to augment their hearing and to drown out the ringing. While a hearing aid has proven to be a reliable method of reducing the symptoms associated with tinnitus, there are personal actions you can take to decrease the ringing.

If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:

  • Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of how your ears work, there’s no doubt 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 accumulates. Your doctor might be able to help you relieve some of the buildup and give you prevention tips to make sure it doesn’t build up to a dangerous level again.
  • Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you need to get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t kidding. Getting plenty of sleep can assist you to avoid tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide array of other health benefits.
  • Loud sounds; This one probably seems obvious, but it bears reiterating that loud noises can worsen the sounds you’re already hearing internally. If a situation arises where you will be subjected to loud sounds, be mindful. This includes construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. If you can’t stay away from loud settings, consider using earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Earplugs can be especially helpful for individuals whose job involves using loud machinery.
  • Particular medicines; Over-the-counter medicines including aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be very good at easing pain, but they may actually make your tinnitus symptoms worse. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication like prescription antibiotics or cancer drugs. However, you should always consult with your doctor about any issues you’re having before dropping a prescribed medication.
  • Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively impacted by drinking a small amount 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. For some people drinking too much alcohol causes tinnitus symptoms to be more evident because it tends to raise your blood pressure.
  • Caffeine; Here’s yet another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a spike in levels. You will most likely notice a change in sleeping habits if you drink too much caffeine.
  • Hazardous blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is a vital preventive strategy that will help keep you safe from many ailments, but it also just might keep your tinnitus symptoms under control. It’s important to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can make your tinnitus worse, so you should be persistent about consistently checking your blood pressure.
  • Jaw issues; You should contact a doctor if you have pain in your jaw and even more so if you are experiencing tinnitus. Because the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, alleviating jaw pain might have an impact on your tinnitus.
  • 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 worsen tinnitus, so make certain you’re doing everything you can to limit your exposure to infections.
  • Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be harmed by smoking. In addition, it can narrow the blood vessels to the ears, which can cause tinnitus symptoms to get worse.

Though there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to manage the symptoms and take back your life. You might be surprised in the changes in your overall health and your tinnitus symptoms if you try these 10 recommendations. If these don’t help, set up an appointment with a hearing specialist.