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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 comprehend. 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.

But for the almost 50 million Americans who experience some form of tinnitus, the problem is very real and can be very difficult to deal with. Ringing in the ears is the best definition of tinnitus, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. Maybe the most frustrating part of tinnitus is that these noises aren’t detectable by others, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.

While that 50 million number is big, it seems even more staggering when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the general public struggles with tinnitus. A report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control states that 2 million of those people experience symptoms that are debilitating and extreme while another 20 million have what’s classified as burdensome and chronic tinnitus.

There’s a common link between hearing loss and tinnitus, which is why people often turn to hearing aids to enhance their hearing and to drown out the ringing. There are everyday things you can do to reduce the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.

If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:

  • Caffeine; Here’s yet another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a rise in levels. You may also find that too much caffeine changes your sleeping habits.
  • Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t kidding around when she said you needed to get eight hours every night. Sleep is another crucial aspect of healthy living that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid triggers of tinnitus.
  • Particular medicines; Over-the-counter medications like aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be really good at soothing pain, but they may actually make your tinnitus symptoms worse. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication such as 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; If you’re having pain in your jaw, you should already be consulting a doctor, but especially if you also have tinnitus. Relieving jaw pain may have some impact on your tinnitus since the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
  • Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax serves a beneficial role in the in the overall health of your ears. But actually dirt is trapped and our ears are protected by this gunk that we hate. That said, too much buildup can make tinnitus worse. Your doctor may be able to help you relieve some of the buildup and give you prevention advice to ensure it doesn’t build up to a dangerous level again.
  • Hazardous blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus under control you should monitor your blood pressure which can also help safeguard you from other illnesses. You should be diligent about routinely checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can worsen tinnitus.
  • Infections; There’s a long-standing commentary about the need to cure the common cold, particularly since a lingering cold can quickly morph into a sinus infection. Infections in both the sinus and ears have been known to aggravate tinnitus, so be certain you’re doing everything you can to control your exposure to infections.
  • Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can raise your blood pressure. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by narrowing the blood vessels to the ears.
  • Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that says drinking a small amount of wine daily can have a positive effect on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that might be true; however, you definitely can have too much of a good thing with regards to alcohol and tinnitus. For some people drinking too much alcohol makes tinnitus symptoms louder because it tends to increase your blood pressure.
  • Loud sounds; It might be obvious but the sounds you’re hearing internally can be made worse by loud sounds. If a situation arises where you will be subjected to loud sounds, be mindful. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Think about protecting your ears with earplugs if you can’t avoid the noise. People who work at loud jobs are especially benefited by ear plugs.

You can take back your life and control your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no known cure. Give these 10 recommendations a shot, and you may be pleasantly surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your general health. If these don’t help, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.

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