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 aren’t many conditions more difficult 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 difficult experience for the nearly 50 million Americans who suffer from it. Tinnitus is best described as ringing in the ears, 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 detectable by others, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.

The number is really astonishing when you take into consideration that 15 percent of the general public suffers from 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 experience symptoms that are extreme and debilitating.

In order to augment their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus often turn to hearing aids. While a hearing aid has proven to be a reliable method of lessening the symptoms associated with tinnitus, there are behavioral actions you can take to decrease the ringing.

If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:

  • Smoking; Smoking is another habit that can increase your blood pressure. Additionally, it can narrow the blood vessels to the ears, which can make tinnitus symptoms more severe.
  • Loud sounds; This one most likely seems obvious, but it bears repeating that loud noises can exacerbate the sounds you’re already hearing internally. Be careful of scenarios where you’ll be exposed to sounds at an elevated level. This can include construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. Consider protecting your ears with earplugs if you can’t steer clear of the noise. People who work at loud jobs are particularly benefited by ear plugs.
  • Harmful blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus in check you should keep track of your blood pressure which can also help safeguard you from other illnesses. You should be persistent about routinely checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can make tinnitus worse.
  • Caffeine; Here’s yet another influencer of blood pressure that can cause a rise in levels. You may also find that too much caffeine alters your sleeping habits.
  • Excess earwax; There’s no doubt that earwax serves a beneficial role in the grand scheme of how your ears work. But actually dirt is trapped and our ears are protected by this gunk that we hate. That said, too much buildup can make tinnitus worse. Your doctor may be able to help you relieve some of the accumulation and give you prevention advice to make sure it doesn’t build up to an unsafe level again.
  • Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively affected by drinking a small amount of wine each day, or so the old saying goes. But with regards to alcohol and tinnitus, you can have too much of a good thing. For many people drinking too much alcohol makes tinnitus symptoms louder because it tends to increase your blood pressure.
  • Infections; There’s a long-standing 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 intensify tinnitus, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to reduce your exposure to infections.
  • Some medicines; Particular medications like aspirin, for example, are good at reducing pain but they could also induce tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be impacted by other medication like prescription cancer drugs or antibiotics. But before you quit using a medication that was prescribed by your doctor, you should schedule a consultation.
  • Jaw issues; If you’re having jaw pain, you should already be contacting a doctor, but particularly if you also suffer from tinnitus. Because the jaw and ears share components such as nerves and ligaments, reducing jaw pain might have an effect on your tinnitus.
  • Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t joking when she said you needed those eight hours each night. Sleep is another essential aspect of healthy living that offers a wide variety of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.

You can take back your life and regulate your tinnitus symptoms even though there is no official cure. You might be surprised in the changes in your general health and your tinnitus symptoms if you try these 10 suggestions. If these don’t help, schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist.