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 comprehend for people who don’t have 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 conditions.

But for the almost 50 million Americans who suffer from some form of tinnitus, the condition is very real and can be very challenging to deal with. Ringing in the ears is the best classification 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 truly staggering when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the overall public has tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that around 20 million of those people have what’s classified as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million suffer from symptoms that are severe and debilitating.

There’s a common link between hearing loss and tinnitus, which is why people often turn to hearing aids to enhance their hearing and to drown out the ringing. While a hearing aid has proven to be a reliable method of lessening the symptoms linked with tinnitus, there are personal actions you can take to decrease the ringing.

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

  • Hazardous blood pressure levels; Monitoring your blood pressure is an essential preventive tip that can help keep you safe from many conditions, but it also just may keep your tinnitus symptoms in check. 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.
  • Jaw issues; You should consult a doctor if you have pain in your jaw and even more so if you are experiencing tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components such as nerves and ligaments, alleviating jaw pain may have an impact on your tinnitus.
  • Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that says drinking a small glass of wine every day can have a positive impact on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that may be true; however, you definitely 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.
  • Caffeine; Once again, a surge in tinnitus levels comes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You might also find that too much caffeine alters your sleeping habits.
  • Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can raise your blood pressure. What’s more, it can narrow the blood vessels to the ears, which can cause tinnitus symptoms to get worse.
  • Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t joking when she said you needed those eight hours every night. Sleep is another essential aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
  • Excess earwax; When it comes to how your ears work, it’s a known fact that earwax plays a positive role. But actually dirt is trapped and our ears are protected by this sludge that we hate. Even so, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax builds up. To make sure it doesn’t build up to a dangerous amount, your doctor can clear some of it out and help with prevention.
  • 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 can aggravate tinnitus.
  • Certain medicines; Particular medications such as aspirin, for example, are good at reducing pain but they may also trigger tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication like prescription cancer drugs or antibiotics. However, you should always consult with your physician about any problems you’re having before dropping a prescribed medication.
  • Loud sounds; It might be obvious but the noises you’re hearing internally can be made worse by loud sounds. Be mindful of scenarios where you’ll hear sounds at an increased level. This includes construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Think about shielding your ears with earplugs if you can’t steer clear of the noise. Earplugs can be especially helpful for people whose job involves working around loud machinery.

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

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