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 complex to understand for those who don’t have tinnitus. That’s because unless you actually have tinnitus, you won’t see, feel or hear the symptoms in the same way you might other ailments.

Tinnitus is a very real and extremely challenging experience for the nearly 50 million Americans who suffer from it. Ringing in the ears is the best classification of tinnitus, but the American Tinnitus Association says, it can present sufferers with whistling, hissing, swooshing, clicking, and buzzing. These sounds aren’t detectable by others and that could be the most frustrating part of tinnitus, which can lead to confusion, disorientation, depression and delayed diagnosis.

The number is truly staggering when you consider that 15 percent of the overall public has tinnitus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that around 20 million of those individuals have what’s classified as burdensome chronic tinnitus, while another two million suffer from symptoms that are extreme and debilitating.

There’s a common link between loss of hearing and tinnitus, which is why people often turn to hearing aids to enhance their hearing and to drown out the ringing. There are commonplace things you can do to decrease the ringing along with wearing hearing aids.

If you have tinnitus here are 10 things to avoid:

  • Poor sleeping habits; When mom said you should get your eight hours of sleep each night, she wasn’t joking. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep can help you to stay away from tinnitus triggers and also offers a wide array of other health benefits.
  • Infections; There’s a long-running commentary about the need to cure the common cold, especially because a lingering cold can quickly morph into a sinus infection. Infections in both the ears and sinus have been known to aggravate tinnitus, so be sure you’re doing everything you can to limit your exposure to infections.
  • Loud noises; This one most likely seems obvious, but it bears reiterating that loud noises can exacerbate the sounds you’re already hearing internally. If a scenario happens where you will be exposed to loud noises, be mindful. This includes construction sites, concerts, and loud restaurants. If you can’t abstain from loud settings, consider wearing earplugs to shield you from some of the noise. People who work at loud jobs are particularly benefited by ear plugs.
  • Specific medicines; Certain medications like aspirin, for example, are good at reducing pain but they may also trigger tinnitus. There are other prescription medications like antibiotics and cancer drugs that can also have an impact on tinnitus. However, you should always consult with your doctor about any problems you’re having before stopping a prescribed medication.
  • Harmful blood pressure levels; If you want to keep your tinnitus at bay you should monitor your blood pressure which can also help safeguard you from other illnesses. It’s important to note that both high and low blood pressure levels can worsen tinnitus, so you should be diligent about consistently checking your blood pressure.
  • Smoking; Your blood pressure can definitely be raised by smoking. Additionally, it can narrow the blood vessels to the ears, which can make tinnitus symptoms more severe.
  • Alcohol; There’s a well-known adage that states drinking a small amount of wine every day can have a positive influence on heart health and cholesterol levels, and that might 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 louder for many people.
  • Caffeine; Here again, a rise in tinnitus levels goes along with this influence due to an increase in blood pressure. You could also find that too much caffeine alters your sleeping habits.
  • Excess earwax; When it comes to how your ears work, there’s no doubt that earwax plays a positive role. In fact, the gunk we all hate actually traps dirt and protects your ears. Even so, tinnitus can get worse if too much wax builds up. Your doctor might be able to help you relieve some of the accumulation and give you prevention tips to make sure it doesn’t accumulate to a dangerous level again.
  • Jaw issues; If you’re having pain in your jaw, you should already be visiting a doctor, but especially if you also have tinnitus. Because the jaw and ears share components such as nerves and ligaments, reducing jaw pain may have an impact on your tinnitus.

Though there’s no established cure for tinnitus, there are ways to control the symptoms and take back your life. Give these 10 recommendations a try, and you might be pleasantly surprised with the improvements in your symptoms and your general health. If these don’t help, set up an appointment with a hearing care professional.