How Anxiety Can Make Tinnitus And Ringing In The Ears Worse

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How Anxiety Can Make Tinnitus And Ringing In The Ears Worse

 

 

  

Living with tinnitus is a difficult and isolating experience, but if you are also dealing with anxiety, the effects can be even worse.

Tinnitus is a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears that range from mild to severe, affecting millions of people worldwide.

Anxiety is an emotional state characterized by feelings of fear, apprehension, and excessive worrying, and it can have far-reaching physical consequences.

 

Man with earache is holding his aching ear

 

✅ Symptoms of Tinnitus

 

Chronic tinnitus is characterized by a ringing, buzzing, or whooshing sound in one or both ears that are often difficult to ignore and can interfere with everyday life.

Here is a list of 11 tinnitus symptoms: 

1) Ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling, or roaring in one or both ears when there is no external sound present. 

2) A decrease in hearing ability. 

3) Sleep issues due to the noise. 

4) Headaches caused by actual noise. 

5) Feeling dizzy or lightheaded as a result of the noise. 

6) Anxiety caused by constant background noise.

7) Trouble concentrating due to distraction from the sound.

8) Hearing loss or muffled sounds

9) Difficulty concentrating

10) Fatigue and emotional stress

11) Sensitivity to loud sounds

 

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✅ What Causes Tinnitus? How does Anxiety Causes Tinnitus?

 

Tinnitus can be caused by a variety of factors.

Here are six following factors or potential causes of tinnitus:

 

⚫ Noise-induced hearing loss

Exposure to loud noises, such as those from music concerts or construction equipment, can damage the delicate hair cells in the inner ear and lead to tinnitus.

Noise-induced hearing loss is a common form of preventable hearing impairment caused by long-term exposure to loud noise. It can result in both temporary and permanent damage to the ears, ranging from difficulty understanding speech, to high-frequency hearing loss, tinnitus, and even complete deafness. One of the most common causes of tinnitus is noise-induced hearing loss.

Exposure to actual external sounds that exceed 85 decibels for a prolonged period of time can cause noise-induced hearing loss.

 

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Common sources include loud music concerts, amplified sports events, and machinery used in industry or construction sites such as jackhammers and leaf blowers.

Even listening to personal music players at high volumes could lead to this type of impairment over time.

 

⚫ Earwax build-up

Excess ear wax blocks the ear canal and causes tinnitus. Earwax build-up is a common problem that can cause a variety of ear issues. It may result in itching, pain, and hearing difficulties if left unchecked.

In some cases, it can even be the cause of tinnitus – a persistent ringing or buzzing sound in the ears. 

The primary cause of earwax blockage is the excessive production of wax. This can occur when our bodies produce more wax than we need to protect our ears against dirt and bacteria.

Additionally, using cotton swabs too often and inserting objects into your ears can contribute to the clogging of your ear canal with wax.

 

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⚫ Head or neck injuries

Trauma to the head or neck, such as a concussion or whiplash, causes a mild form of tinnitus.

Head or neck injuries are a common cause of tinnitus, a condition that leads to the perception of sound in one or both ears without any external source.

Tinnitus is caused by trauma to the head and neck, such as from sports-related injuries, car accidents, falls, and loud noises. It is important for anyone experiencing tinnitus to seek medical help and take steps to manage their symptoms.

There are several ways that head or neck injuries may lead to tinnitus.

In some cases, physical damage to certain parts of the ear could lead to nerve irritation which causes ringing in one or both ears.

Additionally, if an injury results in swelling around the nerves leading into the inner ear it could result in tinnitus due to compression on those nerves around the temporomandibular joint.

 

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Scar tissue formation after surgery on these areas may also cause ringing associated with tinnitus.

 

⚫ Age-related hearing loss

As we age, our hearing naturally declines, and this can lead to tinnitus.

Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is an increasingly common health issue among all age groups. It is a form of gradual hearing loss that affects 30–50% of Americans over the age of 65 and is one of the most common causes of tinnitus.

A number of sources can cause age-related hearing loss; including long-term exposure to loud noises, certain medications, and changes in the inner ear due to aging or genetics. 

The most common symptom associated with age-related hearing loss is difficulty understanding speech in noisy situations or misunderstanding words that are spoken clearly.

Other symptoms include muffled sounds and ringing ears (tinnitus). Typically there are no major medical complications associated with this type of hearing loss but it can affect the quality of life for those who suffer from it. 

It's important to note that tinnitus can also be a symptom of other underlying health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, so it's always a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional if you're experiencing tinnitus.

⚫ Stress and Anxiety

Tinnitus is a condition characterized by the perception of sound in the absence of an external source.

Many people experience tinnitus occasionally, but for some, it can be a chronic condition that affects their quality of life. So, does anxiety trigger tinnitus?

Anxiety and stress response can make tinnitus worse in several ways.

First, anxiety causes increased tension and muscle tension, which makes tinnitus more noticeable.

Second, anxiety disorder causes an increase in stress hormones, which makes tinnitus worsen, louder, and more persistent. 

Finally, anxiety attack leads to a lack of sleep, which makes your tinnitus more noticeable and harder to ignore. Hypnosis for sleep can help you sleep better and mask your tinnitus.

 

⚫ Ototoxic medications

Some medications, such as certain antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs, can be toxic to the ear and lead to tinnitus.

Ototoxic medications are drugs that can damage the auditory system and cause hearing loss, tinnitus, or both. Tinnitus is a condition where a person experiences persistent ringing in their ears even though there is no external source of the sound.

The effects of ototoxicity can be caused by many different types of medications, including some antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, diuretics, and certain pain relievers.

In addition to these prescription medications, some over-the-counter medicines and herbal supplements may also contain ingredients that can be ototoxic when taken in large doses or for extended periods of time.

 

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✅ How to Deal with Your Tinnitus - Ringing in the Ears?

 

If you are experiencing stress-related tinnitus, it is important to seek treatment for both conditions. Treatment options for tinnitus may include sound therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication.

Working with a healthcare provider can help you find the treatment plan that works best for you to treat tinnitus. Here are a variety of ways for tinnitus sufferers to get treated:

  1. Sound therapy: It involves using external sound sources, such as white noise machines or hearing aids, to help mask the ringing or other noise in your ears.
  2. Counseling or therapy: A therapist helps you learn coping strategies and address any emotional or psychological issues related to your tinnitus.
  3. Medications: There are a few medications that are helpful in reducing the severity of tinnitus, such as certain antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications as cures for tinnitus.
  4. Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT): It involves working with a professional to develop a personalized plan to help you better manage and cope with your tinnitus.
  5. Neuromodulation: It involves using non-invasive techniques, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or low-level laser therapy, to try to change the brain's response to tinnitus.
  6. Acupuncture: Some people find relief from tinnitus with acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medical treatment that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. You can have acupuncture therapy for reducing anxiety symptoms. Explore some effective pressure points for stress.
  7. Alternative treatments: Some people may find relief from tinnitus with alternative treatments, such as herbal remedies, supplements, or lifestyle changes. It's important to speak with a healthcare provider before trying any alternative treatments, as they may not be safe or effective for everyone.

 

Male health worker examine ear of senior man in his house

 

✅ Treat Causes of Anxiety, Stress, and Tinnitus

 

There are several ways to treat anxiety, and the best approach for you will depend on the severity and type of your anxiety, as well as your personal preferences and circumstances.

Here are some common treatment options for anxiety: 

  1. Therapy: Talking to a therapist or counselor can be an effective way to address the underlying causes of your anxiety and learn coping strategies to manage it. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that can be particularly helpful for anxiety.
  2. Medication: In some cases, medication is prescribed to help manage anxiety. Several medications can be effective, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and benzodiazepines. It's important to work closely with a healthcare provider to find the right medication and dosage for you.
  3. Lifestyle changes: Making changes to your daily routine and habits reduces anxiety. It includes getting regular exercise, getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and reducing your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
  4. Relaxation techniques: There are several relaxation techniques that reduce anxiety, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation. Try a mindfulness script for anxiety to calm yourself.
  5. Alternative treatments: Some people find relief from anxiety through alternative treatments such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, and massage.

It's important to remember that treatment for anxiety is highly individualized and what works for one person may not work for another. Finding the best approach for you may take some trial and error. If your anxiety and tinnitus are severe or are interfering with your daily life, it's important to seek help from a mental health professional. Hypnosis for PTSD can help you heal from traumas and anxiety.

 

✅ Bottom Line

 

It is clear that anxiety makes tinnitus and ringing in the ears worse. It is essential to manage anxiety-related tinnitus as much as possible to reduce the intensity of the ringing in your ears. You should consult a doctor if your symptoms become severe or unmanageable, as this may require different forms of treatment. Additionally, mindfulness practices, natural remedies such as essential oils, and avoiding potential triggers can all be helpful in reducing the impact of tinnitus and anxiety and ringing in the ears caused by high stress levels.

 

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