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

There aren’t many conditions that are more complex to understand for those who don’t have tinnitus. That’s because unless you actually have tinnitus, you won’t feel, see or hear the symptoms in the same way you might other conditions.

Tinnitus is a very real and extremely difficult experience for the nearly 50 million Americans who have it. Ringing in the ears is the best definition of tinnitus, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with clicking, whistling, hissing, swooshing, and buzzing. Maybe the most discouraging part of tinnitus is that these sounds aren’t perceptible by others, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.

While that 50 million number is huge, it’s even more astounding when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the overall public battles with tinnitus. A report put out 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 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 augment their hearing and to drown out the ringing. While a hearing aid has shown to be a reliable method of lessening the symptoms connected with tinnitus, there are behavioral actions you can take to decrease the ringing.

Here are 10 things to steer clear of if you suffer from tinnitus:

  • Unsafe 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 ailments. You should be diligent about routinely checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can worsen tinnitus.
  • Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t kidding when she said you needed those eight hours every night. Getting enough sleep can assist you to avoid tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide array of other health benefits.
  • 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 sinus and ears have been known to worsen tinnitus, so be sure you’re doing everything you can to reduce your exposure to infections.
  • Particular 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 make your tinnitus symptoms worse. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication such as prescription antibiotics or cancer drugs. However, you should always talk with your doctor about any problems you’re having before dropping a prescribed medication.
  • Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax is helpful in the in the overall health of your ears. 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 builds up. Your doctor might be able to help you relieve some of the accumulation and give you prevention advice to ensure it doesn’t build up to a dangerous level again.
  • Caffeine; Once again, a surge in tinnitus levels goes along with this influence due to a rise in blood pressure. You might also find that too much caffeine changes your sleeping habits.
  • Loud sounds; It may be obvious but the noises you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud noises. If a scenario happens where you will be exposed to loud noises, be cautious. This includes construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. If you can’t avoid loud settings, think about using earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Individuals who work at loud jobs are especially benefited by ear plugs.
  • 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.
  • Jaw issues; If you’re having pain in your jaw, you should already be consulting a doctor, but particularly if you also have tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, alleviating jaw pain might have an effect on your tinnitus.
  • Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that states drinking a small glass of wine daily can have a positive effect on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that could be true; however, you absolutely can have too much of a good thing when it comes to alcohol and tinnitus. Drinking too much alcohol raises your blood pressure, which makes the ringing more evident for many people.

Although there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to regulate 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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