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Published on May 20, 2024

Understanding Tinnitus Triggers And How You Can Mitigate Them

If you’re living with tinnitus, then you likely don’t need someone to tell you the stress that it can cause. However, you might find that, for seemingly no reason, the ringing or other sounds in your ear can get worse under certain circumstances. These flare-ups of tinnitus can be seemingly random, but often they are related to triggers. Learning to identify and manage these triggers may help you manage the symptoms much better.

Exposure to noise

One of the most common causes of tinnitus is exposure to excess noise. Some might make the assumption that since they are already living with long-term tinnitus, loud noises are going to have less of an effect on them, but the opposite is true. Equipping yourself with the right hearing protection can be even more vital. Some people find that excessive noise at any level can trigger a flare-up, while others experience them in response to particular kinds of noise, such as really high-pitched noises.

Stress

Tinnitus and stress are heavily connected. Both stress and anxiety have been found to exacerbate tinnitus symptoms and to be a common cause. As such, while treating the symptom itself is important, finding methods to manage stress levels can be important, as well. This is one of the reasons that cognitive behavioral therapy is a common treatment tool for tinnitus patients.

Caffeine levels

Issues with your hearing, including tinnitus, can often be affected by changes in your blood pressure. There are blood vessels that travel close to the ear, after all. The impact of caffeine on blood pressure is thought to be a potential explanation for why drinking caffeine can make some people more sensitive to tinnitus. That said, for regular caffeine drinkers, not drinking caffeine can have the same effect. This is not consistent, however, as some people can experience improvements in severity from drinking less caffeine.

Weather

Even changes in the environment, temperature, and humidity around you can affect your experience of tinnitus. There have been several studies on weather-related tinnitus triggers, which have found, amongst other things, that changes in barometric air pressure, warmer temperatures, humidity, and high wind speeds can all cause or exacerbate tinnitus. As such, if you’re going outside in such conditions, then you might want to make sure that you wrap up and consider wearing ear muffs so that your ears aren’t as exposed to changes in the weather.

Medication 

Hearing specialists have long been aware of the fact that some medications can have an impact on your hearing health, which can include triggering your tinnitus symptoms. Medications that commonly affect hearing include things like antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and anti-inflammatory drugs. As such, when a doctor is prescribing medication, it’s always a good idea to inform them of any hearing health issues you have, as they may be able to make prescriptions with fewer side effects.

Understanding your triggers will not cure your tinnitus. It can, however, give you ideas on how to mitigate the symptom, especially when working together with your audiologist to craft solutions suited to your specific case.


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