The OP’s situation sounds exactly like how mine started back in 2005-ish. I worked for years in moderately noisy places where hearing protection wasn’t legally required and wasn’t much used. Although we used it in the very insanely noisy places nearby.
One day on leave, having had no noise exposure for a month or so, suddenly there it was, a continuous high pitched tone (or two) in 1 ear and intermittently in the other. I’ve listened to that noise every waking minute since; 15+ years and counting. The then-intermittent ear is now continuous at a slightly different frequency. Oh bother. Let me rephrase that: This sucks donkey balls and there’s not a damn thing you or I can do about it.
I immediately got religion about hearing protection always at work everywhere & gave up shooting. Even with all the best protection always worn while shooting (plugs and muffs), the impulse noise is not good.
I’ve tried the various OTC / herbal remedies. Negligible effect.
I get 6-month audiology checks and by having gotten religion about hearing protection at work I’m not fading much worse than anyone else my age who works in a quiet office. But the effect of the tinnitus is that my useable hearing is less than my peers because I can’t pick up speech as well over the continuous EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE noise in my head. In effect I’m always in a noisy restaurant even when nobody else is.
Throughout this I’ve tried to avoid paying attention to the noise. If you focus on it, you amplify it. That’s gotten harder as I’ve gotten older and it’s gotten louder.
A couple years ago I tried then bought some hearing aids whose claim to fame is they’re also white noise generators. Just a smidgen of that pumped into my ears greatly reduced the perception of the tinnitus. And helps a bit even after I take them out to go to bed. The noise is still there but you don’t notice as much. I highly recommend this feature once the noise gets to interfering with your concentration.
Along the way, these aids also boost the high frequencies I no longer hear. Speech intelligibility is much improved, especially of women. It’s sad to say, but that was one of the best presents I’ve bought myself recently. A lot of quality of life gain in a small easy to use package.
I don’t have experience with OTC pain meds causing more perception of tinnitus. I take those things rarely, but haven’t ever noticed them triggering a change.
But some alcohol some days certainly does. There are few brands of wine that turn my volume up to 11. I avoid those. It doesn’t seem to be based on the grape or style; it’s probably a synergy with some other ingredient and the alcohol itself. It is dose related, so if half a glass makes your ears ring extra, quit now.
I’m slowly zeroing my alcohol consumption anyhow just as part of getting older. I’d probably be smarter to cut to zero now for the tinnitus if nothing else.
My bottom lines: Welcome to the party. This sucks. Better late than never on hearing protection; plugs & muffs are better than either alone. If practical, get a quieter job. Get thee to an audiologist (not a hearing aid salesman; a real physician) for appropriate testing. A white noise generator helps reduce the perception of tinnitus. Hearing aids are great once you need them. Pay attention to foods & drugs that trigger louder tinnitus and avoid those.