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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 difficult 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 conditions.

But for the nearly 50 million Americans who experience some form of tinnitus, the problem is very real and can be very difficult to manage. Tinnitus is best characterized as ringing in the ears, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with whistling, hissing, swooshing, clicking, and buzzing. Maybe the most discouraging part of tinnitus is that these sounds aren’t detectable 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. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that approximately 20 million of those individuals have what’s known as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million experience symptoms that are severe and debilitating.

In order to augment their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus often try hearing aids. 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:

  • Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax is helpful in the in the overall health of your ears. In fact, the sludge we all hate actually catches dirt and protects your ears. Even so, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax accumulates. To make certain it doesn’t accumulate to an unsafe amount, your doctor can clean some of it out and help with prevention.
  • Jaw issues; You should consult a doctor if you have pain in your jaw and even more so if you are experiencing tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components such as nerves and ligaments, minimizing jaw pain may have an effect on your tinnitus.
  • Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that says drinking a small amount of wine every day can have a positive impact on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that could be true; however, you absolutely can have too much of a good thing with regards to alcohol and tinnitus. For many people drinking too much alcohol makes tinnitus symptoms louder because it tends to raise your blood pressure.
  • Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be increased by smoking. In addition, it can narrow the blood vessels to the ears, which can cause tinnitus symptoms to get worse.
  • Some medicines; Over-the-counter medications including aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be really good at easing pain, but they could actually make your tinnitus symptoms worse. There are other prescription medications including antibiotics and cancer drugs that can also have an impact on tinnitus. But before you stop taking a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should set up a consultation.
  • Hazardous blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus in check you should keep track of your blood pressure which can also help safeguard you from other illnesses. It’s important to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can worsen tinnitus, so you should be careful about regularly checking your blood pressure.
  • Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep each night, she wasn’t kidding. Sleep is another crucial aspect of healthy living that offers a wide range of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
  • Caffeine; Here’s yet another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a rise in levels. You will most likely notice a change in sleeping habits if you drink too much caffeine.
  • 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. Make sure you’re reducing your exposure to sinus and ear infections because they have can worsen tinnitus.
  • Loud sounds; It might be obvious but the sounds you’re hearing internally can be made worse by loud noises. Be careful of scenarios where you’ll be exposed to sounds at an elevated volume. This can include concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. If you can’t avoid loud settings, consider wearing earplugs to shield you from some of the noise. People who have loud jobs are especially benefited by ear plugs.

Though there’s no official cure for tinnitus, there are ways to control 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 suggestions. If these don’t help, set up an appointment with a hearing specialist.

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