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 people who don’t suffer from tinnitus. 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 almost 50 million Americans who experience 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 according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. Maybe the most frustrating part of tinnitus is that these noises aren’t perceptible by others, 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 suffers from tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that around 20 million of those individuals have what’s known 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 frequently try hearing aids. While a hearing aid has proven to be an effective method of reducing the symptoms linked with tinnitus, there are behavioral changes you can make to minimize the ringing.

If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:

  • Jaw issues; You should see a doctor if you have pain in your jaw and even more so if you are experiencing tinnitus. Because the jaw and ears share components such as nerves and ligaments, reducing jaw pain may have an impact on your tinnitus.
  • Caffeine; Here again, a rise in tinnitus levels comes along with this influence due to a rise in blood pressure. You could also find that too much caffeine alters your sleeping habits.
  • Specific medicines; Certain medications like aspirin, for example, are good at relieving pain but they may also trigger tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication such as prescription antibiotics or cancer drugs. But before you quit using a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should get a consultation.
  • Loud sounds; It may be obvious but the noises you’re hearing internally can be made worse by loud sounds. If a situation arises where you will be exposed to loud sounds, be cautious. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. If you can’t avoid loud settings, think about wearing earplugs to protect you from some of the noise. Earplugs can be particularly helpful for people whose job involves working around loud machinery.
  • Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep each night, she wasn’t kidding. Sleep is another essential aspect of healthy living that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
  • Excess earwax; There’s no doubting that earwax serves a beneficial role in the grand scheme of how your ears work. Actually, the sludge we all hate actually traps dirt and protects your ears. That being said, too much accumulation can cause tinnitus to get worse. To make certain it doesn’t build up to a dangerous amount, your doctor can clear some of it out and help with prevention.
  • Harmful blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is an essential preventive strategy that can help keep you safe from many conditions, but it also just may keep your tinnitus symptoms under control. It’s significant to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can make your tinnitus worse, so you should be persistent about consistently checking your blood pressure.
  • Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can raise your blood pressure. Also, it can make the tinnitus worse by narrowing the blood vessels to the ears.
  • Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively impacted 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 increases your blood pressure, which makes the ringing more evident for some people.
  • Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to cure the common cold, especially 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 certain you’re doing everything you can to reduce 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 recommendations a try, and you may be pleasantly surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your general health. If these don’t help, make an appointment with a hearing specialist.

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