If you experience symptoms of tinnitus, you are not alone. Around 50 million Americans experience tinnitus to some degree. For many, tinnitus is so severe they seek medical attention, and for some it impacts their ability to function on a daily basis.
There are many causes of tinnitus, but did you know stress can play a major role in the severity of your tinnitus?
What Exactly is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is when you hear a ringing, buzzing, humming, whistling, or whooshing sound in your ears when no other sound is present. Tinnitus itself is not a disease, but rather a symptom of another problem. Tinnitus does not necessarily mean you have hearing loss, but it is a sign to have your hearing checked.
Tinnitus can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Noise-induced hearing loss
- Ear and sinus infections
- Hearing loss
- Ménierè's disease
- Thyroid abnormalities
Stress and Tinnitus
Stress can have negative impacts on your body and well-being. High levels of stress affect your hormones, blood pressure, and how your brain functions. When you are under stress a bodily reaction to that is often tinnitus.
Although there are many causes of tinnitus, high levels of stress are one of the most common causes of tinnitus. This is often due to a cycle: when you have tinnitus you begin to think about how much the ringing in your ears affects you, this will lead to stress over the tinnitus, and the more stressed you are the worst the symptoms of tinnitus are. It can seem like an unbeatable cycle.
What You Can Do
Don’t feel discouraged if you are experiencing tinnitus due to stress in your life. If your stress is worsened by tinnitus, there are successful ways you can manage both the stress in your life and the ringing in your ears.
One of the best ways to combat the symptoms of tinnitus is to find a successful way to manage stress in your life. This could be through counseling, meditation, or yoga. Relieving stress can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your tinnitus. Another way to manage tinnitus is through sound therapy. This is a type of treatment where you will learn how to distract your brain from the symptoms of tinnitus.
If you have hearing loss and tinnitus, hearing aids with a specific tinnitus masking feature could help you. Tinnitus masking hearing aids have a program that you can control through an app on your smartphone that allows you to play soothing sounds to distract your brain from tinnitus.
Regardless of what caused your tinnitus, visiting a hearing specialist can help you. A hearing specialist can help you identify the cause of your tinnitus and find a treatment plan that will alleviate the ringing in your ears.
In addition to having your hearing checked, it is important to minimize stress in your life. Be sure to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and try talking to a therapist to find effective ways to manage stress.
Start experiencing relief from tinnitus by scheduling an appointment with your local hearing specialist today.