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

There are few conditions that are more difficult to understand for those who don’t suffer from tinnitus. 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.

Tinnitus is a very real and extremely difficult experience for the almost 50 million Americans who suffer from it. Tinnitus is best characterized as ringing in the ears, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with clicking, whistling, hissing, swooshing, and buzzing. These sounds aren’t noticeable by others and that could be the most disheartening part of tinnitus, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.

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

There’s a common connection between hearing loss and tinnitus, which is why people frequently turn to hearing aids to augment their hearing and to drown out the ringing. While a hearing aid has shown to be an effective method of minimizing the symptoms associated with tinnitus, there are behavioral actions you can take to reduce the ringing.

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

  • Some medicines; Over-the-counter medicines like aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be really good at soothing 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. However, you should always talk with your doctor about any issues you’re having before dropping a prescribed medication.
  • Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively affected by drinking a small amount of wine every day, or so the old adage goes. But when it comes to alcohol and tinnitus, you can have too much of a good thing. Drinking too much alcohol raises your blood pressure, which makes the ringing more evident for many people.
  • 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. Be certain you’re limiting your exposure to sinus and ear infections because they have been known to intensify tinnitus.
  • Dangerous blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus in check you should monitor your blood pressure which can also help protect you from other ailments. You should be careful about regularly checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can make tinnitus worse.
  • 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 a healthy life that offers a wide range of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
  • Jaw issues; If you’re having jaw pain, you should already be contacting a doctor, but particularly if you also have tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, relieving jaw pain may have an impact on your tinnitus.
  • 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. That being said, too much accumulation can cause tinnitus to get worse. To make sure it doesn’t accumulate to a dangerous amount, your doctor can clear some of it out and help with prevention.
  • Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can harm your blood pressure. Additionally, it can shrink the blood vessels to the ears, which can cause tinnitus symptoms to get worse.
  • 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.
  • Loud sounds; It might be obvious but the sounds you’re hearing internally can be exacerbated by loud sounds. If a situation happens where you will be subjected to loud sounds, be careful. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Think about shielding your ears with earplugs if you can’t avoid the noise. Individuals who have 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 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 care professional.

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