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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 have tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more difficult to understand. The problem with tinnitus is that if you are not afflicted with it, you won’t hear, see or feel 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 can be very difficult to manage. Ringing in the ears is the best definition of tinnitus, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with whistling, hissing, swooshing, clicking, and buzzing. These sounds aren’t perceptible by others and that could be the most disheartening part of tinnitus, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.

The number is truly staggering when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the overall public has tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that around 20 million of those individuals have what’s classified as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million suffer from symptoms that are severe and debilitating.

In order to enhance their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus many times turn to hearing aids. There are everyday things you can do to decrease the ringing along with using hearing aids.

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

  • Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you need to get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t joking. Getting plenty of sleep can assist you to avoid tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide variety of other health benefits.
  • Dangerous blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus under control you should keep track of your blood pressure which can also help safeguard you from other illnesses. 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.
  • 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 aggravate tinnitus, so be sure you’re doing everything you can to control your exposure to infections.
  • Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that states drinking a small amount of wine every day can have a positive influence 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 makes tinnitus symptoms more evident because it tends to increase your blood pressure.
  • Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be harmed by smoking. In addition, it can shrink the blood vessels to the ears, which can cause tinnitus symptoms to get worse.
  • Specific medicines; Certain medications such as aspirin, for example, are good at reducing pain but they might also trigger tinnitus. There are other prescription medications like cancer drugs and antibiotics that can also have an impact on tinnitus. However, you should always consult with your physician about any problems you’re having before stopping a prescribed medication.
  • Jaw issues; If you’re having jaw pain, you should already be visiting a doctor, but particularly if you also have tinnitus. Alleviating jaw pain might have some impact on your tinnitus because the jaw and ears share nerves and ligaments.
  • Loud noises; It may be obvious but the sounds you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud sounds. If a scenario happens where you will be subjected to loud sounds, be cautious. This can include concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. If you can’t avoid loud settings, consider using earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. People who work at loud jobs are especially benefited by ear plugs.
  • Caffeine; Here again, a surge in tinnitus levels goes along with this influence due to a rise in blood pressure. You could also find that too much caffeine changes your sleeping habits.
  • Excess earwax; There’s no doubting that earwax serves a beneficial role in the in the overall health of your ears. Actually, the sludge we all hate actually catches dirt and protects your ears. That being said, too much accumulation can cause tinnitus to get worse. To make sure it doesn’t accumulate to an unsafe amount, your doctor can clean some of it out and help with prevention.

Although there’s no official cure for tinnitus, there are ways to manage the symptoms and take back your life. Give these 10 recommendations a shot, and you may be surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your overall health. If these don’t help, set up an appointment with a hearing specialist.

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