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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 have tinnitus, there are few conditions more complex to comprehend. That’s because unless you actually have tinnitus, you won’t see, feel or hear the symptoms in the same way you might other conditions.

But for the almost 50 million Americans who suffer from some form of tinnitus, the condition is very real and can be very challenging to manage. 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. These sounds aren’t perceptible by others and that might be the most discouraging part of tinnitus, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.

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. A report put out by the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports that 2 million of those people experience symptoms that are debilitating and extreme while another 20 million have what’s considered burdensome and chronic tinnitus.

In order to enhance their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus frequently try hearing aids. There are commonplace things you can do to minimize the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.

Here are 10 things to stay away from if you have tinnitus:

  • 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. That said, too much accumulation can make tinnitus 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.
  • Jaw issues; If you’re having jaw pain, you should already be visiting a doctor, but especially if you also suffer from tinnitus. Relieving jaw pain might have some effect on your tinnitus because the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
  • Loud sounds; It might be obvious but the sounds you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud sounds. Be mindful of situations where you’ll hear sounds at an elevated volume. This can include concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. If you can’t abstain from loud settings, think about wearing earplugs to shield you from some of the noise. Earplugs can be very helpful for people whose job involves working around loud machinery.
  • Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t kidding around when she said you needed to get eight hours each night. Getting enough sleep can assist you to stay away from tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide array of other health benefits.
  • Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to cure the common cold, especially since a lingering cold can quickly morph into a sinus infection. Infections in both the sinus and ears have been known to intensify tinnitus, so make certain you’re doing everything you can to reduce your exposure to infections.
  • Harmful blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is an essential preventive strategy that can help keep you safe from many conditions, but it also just might keep your tinnitus symptoms under control. You should be diligent about routinely checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can make tinnitus worse.
  • 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 may 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 causes tinnitus symptoms to be louder because it tends to raise your blood pressure.
  • Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be increased by smoking. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by narrowing the blood vessels to the ears.
  • Certain medicines; Over-the-counter medicines like aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be quite good at easing pain, but they may actually increase your tinnitus symptoms. There are other prescription medications including antibiotics and cancer drugs that can also have an impact on tinnitus. But before you quit taking a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should schedule a consultation.
  • Caffeine; Once again, a spike in tinnitus levels goes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You will most likely notice a change in sleeping habits if you drink too much caffeine.

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

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