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

For those who don’t have tinnitus, there are few conditions more complex to comprehend. 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.

Tinnitus is a very real and extremely challenging experience for the nearly 50 million Americans who have it. Tinnitus is best described as ringing in the ears, but according to the American Tinnitus Association, it can present sufferers with whistling, hissing, swooshing, clicking, 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 truly staggering when you consider that 15 percent of the general public has tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that roughly 20 million of those individuals have what’s known as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million experience symptoms that are extreme and debilitating.

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. There are commonplace things you can do to minimize the ringing along with using hearing aids.

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

  • Caffeine; Here again, a rise in tinnitus levels goes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You may also find that too much caffeine changes your sleeping habits.
  • Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep every night, she wasn’t joking. Sleep is another critical aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide range of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
  • Loud sounds; This one most likely seems obvious, but it’s worth reiterating that loud noises can exacerbate the sounds you’re already hearing internally. If a scenario arises where you will be exposed to loud noises, be careful. This includes construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Think about protecting your ears with earplugs if you can’t steer clear of the noise. Earplugs can be particularly helpful for individuals whose job involves using loud machinery.
  • Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax serves a beneficial role in the in the overall health of your ears. As a matter of fact, the crud we all hate actually catches dirt and protects your ears. That being said, too much accumulation can make tinnitus worse. Your doctor may be able to help you get rid of some of the accumulation and provide prevention tips to ensure it doesn’t build up to an unsafe level again.
  • Dangerous blood pressure levels; Keeping track of your blood pressure is an essential preventive strategy that can help keep you safe from many illnesses, but it also just might keep your tinnitus symptoms at bay. You should be careful about routinely checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can make tinnitus worse.
  • 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.
  • Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to find a cure for the common cold, especially because a lingering cold can quickly change into a sinus infection. Infections in both the ears and sinus have been known to aggravate tinnitus, so be certain you’re doing everything you can to reduce your exposure to infections.
  • Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively affected by drinking a small glass of wine every day, or so the old adage goes. But with regards 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 some people.
  • Specific medicines; Over-the-counter medicines including aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be very good at soothing pain, but they may actually increase your tinnitus symptoms. There are other prescription medications like antibiotics and cancer drugs that can also have an impact on tinnitus. But before you stop using a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should set up a consultation.
  • Jaw issues; You should contact 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, reducing jaw pain might have an effect on your tinnitus.

You can take back your life and regulate your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no official cure. Give these 10 suggestions a try, and you might be pleasantly surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your overall health. If these don’t help, set up an appointment with a hearing care professional.