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

For people who don’t suffer from tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more complex to understand. 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 condition is very real and is often very challenging to deal with. Ringing in the ears is the best classification of tinnitus, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. Maybe the most disheartening part of tinnitus is that these sounds aren’t detectable by others, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.

The number is really astonishing when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the overall public suffers from 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 often turn to hearing aids. While a hearing aid has proven to be an effective method of reducing the symptoms connected with tinnitus, there are personal actions you can take to minimize the ringing.

If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:

  • Loud sounds; It may be obvious but the sounds you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud noises. Be careful of scenarios where you’ll be exposed to sounds at an increased volume. This can include concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. If you can’t stay away from loud settings, consider wearing earplugs to shield you from some of the noise. People who work at loud jobs are especially benefited by ear plugs.
  • 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 intensify tinnitus, so be sure you’re doing everything you can to reduce your exposure to infections.
  • 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.
  • Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively impacted by drinking a small glass of wine each day, 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 some people.
  • 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 help you to stay away from tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide variety of other health benefits.
  • Unsafe 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 ailments. 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.
  • Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax is helpful in the grand scheme of how your ears work. Actually, 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 sure it doesn’t accumulate to an unsafe amount, your doctor can clear some of it out and help with prevention.
  • Caffeine; Once again, a rise in tinnitus levels comes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You may also find that too much caffeine changes your sleeping habits.
  • Certain medicines; Certain medications like aspirin, for example, are good at relieving pain but they may also induce tinnitus. There are other prescription medications like antibiotics and cancer drugs that can also have an impact on tinnitus. However, you should always consult with your doctor about any problems you’re having before dropping a prescribed medication.
  • Jaw issues; You should seek advice from a doctor if you have jaw pain and even more so if you have tinnitus. Relieving jaw pain might have some impact on your tinnitus since the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.

You can take back your life and control your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no known cure. You might 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.