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

For those who don’t suffer from tinnitus, there aren’t many conditions more difficult to understand. 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 problem is very real and can be very challenging to deal with. Tinnitus is best described as ringing in the ears, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with clicking, whistling, hissing, swooshing, and buzzing. Maybe the most frustrating part of tinnitus is that these sounds aren’t perceptible by others, which can lead to disorientation, delayed diagnosis, confusion, and depression.

While that 50 million number is large, it seems even more astounding when put in the context that it means about 15 percent of the general public struggles with tinnitus. A report put out by the U.S. Center for Disease Control says that 2 million of those people experience symptoms that are debilitating and severe while another 20 million suffer from what’s known as burdensome and chronic tinnitus.

In order to augment their hearing and drown out the ringing, people with tinnitus many times try hearing aids. There are everyday things you can do to reduce the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.

Here are 10 things to avoid if you suffer from tinnitus:

  • Excess earwax; In the grand scheme of 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. Your doctor might be able to help you reduce some of the accumulation and provide prevention tips to make sure it doesn’t accumulate to a dangerous level again.
  • Loud noises; It might be obvious but the sounds you’re hearing internally can be made worse by loud sounds. If a scenario arises where you will be exposed to loud noises, be cautious. This includes construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. If you can’t stay away from loud settings, think about wearing earplugs to shield you from some of the noise. Earplugs can be very helpful for people whose job involves working around loud machinery.
  • Alcohol; Your cholesterol and heart health can be positively impacted by drinking a small glass of wine each day, or so the old saying 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 many people.
  • Poor sleeping habits; Mom wasn’t kidding when she said you needed those eight hours every night. Sleep is another essential aspect of a healthy life that offers a wide range of benefits, including helping to avoid tinnitus triggers.
  • Certain medicines; Particular medications like aspirin, for example, are good at decreasing pain but they might also induce tinnitus. There are other prescription medications including cancer drugs and antibiotics that can also have an impact on tinnitus. However, you should always consult with your doctor about any problems you’re having before dropping a prescribed medication.
  • Infections; There’s a long-standing commentary about the need to find a cure for the common cold, specifically since a lingering cold can quickly change into a sinus infection. Infections in both the ears and sinus have been known to intensify tinnitus, so be certain you’re doing everything you can to control your exposure to infections.
  • Harmful blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus under control you should keep track of your blood pressure which can also help protect you from other ailments. You should be careful about consistently checking your blood pressure because both high and low blood pressure can worsen tinnitus.
  • Jaw issues; You should contact a doctor if you have pain in your jaw and even more so if you have tinnitus. Since the jaw and ears share components such as nerves and ligaments, minimizing jaw pain might have an impact on your tinnitus.
  • 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.
  • Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be raised by smoking. What’s more, it can narrow the blood vessels to the ears, which can cause tinnitus symptoms to get worse.

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 pleasantly surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your overall health. If these don’t help, make an appointment with a hearing specialist.