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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 comprehend. That’s because unless you’re afflicted with tinnitus, you won’t feel, see or hear the symptoms in the same way you might other ailments.

But for the nearly 50 million Americans who suffer from some form of tinnitus, the problem is very real and is often very challenging to deal with. Tinnitus is best classified as ringing in the ears, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with clicking, whistling, hissing, swooshing, and buzzing. Maybe the most discouraging 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 seems even more astounding when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the general public struggles with tinnitus. A report put out by the U.S. Center for Disease Control says that 2 million of those people experience symptoms that are debilitating and severe while another 20 million have what’s known as burdensome and chronic tinnitus.

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 minimizing the symptoms associated with tinnitus, there are personal actions you can take to reduce the ringing.

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

  • Alcohol; There’s a common adage that states drinking a small glass of wine daily can have a positive impact on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that might be true; however, you absolutely can have too much of a good thing when it comes to alcohol and tinnitus. For certain people drinking too much alcohol causes tinnitus symptoms to be more evident because it tends to raise your blood pressure.
  • Excess earwax; There’s no doubting that earwax is helpful in the grand scheme of how your ears work. Actually, the crud we all hate actually catches dirt and protects your ears. That said, too much buildup can cause tinnitus to get worse. To make sure it doesn’t build up to a dangerous amount, your doctor can clean some of it out and help with prevention.
  • Loud sounds; It might be obvious but the noises you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud sounds. If a scenario arises where you will be subjected to loud sounds, be mindful. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Think about shielding your ears with earplugs if you can’t steer clear of the noise. Individuals who have loud jobs are especially benefited by ear plugs.
  • Unsafe blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus at bay you should monitor your blood pressure which can also help safeguard you from other illnesses. You should be careful about consistently checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can make tinnitus worse.
  • Caffeine; Once again, a rise in tinnitus levels comes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You might also find that too much caffeine alters your sleeping habits.
  • Infections; There’s a long-standing commentary about the need to cure the common cold, especially since a lingering cold can quickly change into a sinus infection. Infections in both the ears and sinus have been known to worsen tinnitus, so be sure you’re doing everything you can to limit your exposure to infections.
  • Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be harmed by smoking. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by shrinking the blood vessels to the ears.
  • Particular medicines; Particular medications like aspirin, as an example, are good at decreasing pain but they might also induce tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication including prescription cancer drugs or antibiotics. But before you stop using a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should get a consultation.
  • Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep each night, she wasn’t kidding. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep can assist you to avoid tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide array of other health benefits.
  • Jaw issues; If you’re having pain in your jaw, you should already be consulting a doctor, but particularly if you also have tinnitus. Because the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, alleviating jaw pain might have an effect on your tinnitus.

You can take back your life and regulate your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no known cure. Give these 10 recommendations a try, and you might be surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your general health. If these don’t help, make an appointment with a hearing specialist.