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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 suffer from tinnitus, there are few conditions more difficult to understand. 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 suffer from some form of tinnitus, the problem is very real and is often very challenging to manage. Tinnitus is best classified as ringing in the ears, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. These sounds aren’t noticeable by others and that might be the most disheartening part of tinnitus, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.

The number is truly astonishing when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the overall public suffers from 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 severe while another 20 million have what’s classified as burdensome and chronic tinnitus.

In order to enhance their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus many times turn to hearing aids. While a hearing aid has shown to be a reliable method of minimizing the symptoms connected with tinnitus, there are personal actions you can take to decrease the ringing.

If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:

  • Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t joking when she said you needed those eight hours every night. Getting an adequate amount of sleep can assist you to stay away from tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide range of other health benefits.
  • Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax is helpful in the grand scheme of how your ears work. In fact, the sludge we all hate actually traps dirt and protects your ears. Even so, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax builds up. To make sure it doesn’t build up to an unsafe amount, your doctor can clear some of it out and help with prevention.
  • Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that states drinking a small amount of wine daily can have a positive influence on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that could be true; however, you definitely can have too much of a good thing when it comes to alcohol and tinnitus. For some people drinking too much alcohol makes tinnitus symptoms louder because it tends to raise your blood pressure.
  • Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can increase your blood pressure. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by narrowing the blood vessels to the ears.
  • Specific medicines; Over-the-counter medicines like aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be really effective at easing pain, but they could actually make your tinnitus symptoms worse. There are other prescription medications like cancer drugs and antibiotics that can also have an impact on tinnitus. But before you stop taking a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should get a consultation.
  • Loud noises; This one probably seems obvious, but it’s worth reiterating that loud noises can exacerbate the sounds you’re already hearing internally. If a situation arises where you will be subjected to loud noises, be careful. This can include concerts, loud restaurants, and construction sites. If you can’t abstain from loud settings, consider using earplugs to shield you from some of the noise. Earplugs can be particularly helpful for people whose job involves working around loud machinery.
  • Caffeine; Here’s yet another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a surge in levels. You may also find that too much caffeine alters your sleeping habits.
  • Jaw issues; If you’re having jaw pain, you should already be contacting a doctor, but particularly if you also have tinnitus. Because the jaw and ears share components like nerves and ligaments, reducing jaw pain might have an impact on your tinnitus.
  • Harmful blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is a vital preventive strategy that will help keep you safe from many ailments, but it also just may keep your tinnitus symptoms at bay. It’s important to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can worsen tinnitus, so you should be diligent about routinely checking your blood pressure.
  • Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to cure the common cold, specifically since a lingering cold can quickly morph into a sinus infection. Infections in both the ears and sinus have been known to worsen tinnitus, so be sure you’re doing everything you can to limit your exposure to infections.

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

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