What Is Already Known On This Subject
- Hearing loss and tinnitus are common and potentially disabling conditions that impact many aspects of life such as stress, mental health and interpersonal relationships.
- Hypertension, which is also common, and the medications used to treat the condition have been implicated in the development of hearing loss and tinnitus, although results are not consistent.
- The co-occurrence of hearing loss and tinnitus presents a challenge when examining the association of hypertension with one or the other outcome.
The Relationship Between Blood
Keith Roach, M.D.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently spent time with a seasoned hearing-impaired citizen. She told me that tinnitus is sometimes caused by prescription meds, especially those for high blood pressure. I have been taking 25 milligrams of losartan, one per day in the morning for about 15 years. About five years ago, my tinnitus began. Lately, it seems to have become worse. Do you think there is a connection? Is there another blood pressure med I could take that does not have this side effect? F.A.C.
ANSWER: Tinnitus is a sensation of noise in or near the head in absence of an external cause. Tinnitus and hearing loss always go together, but there is a long list of medicines that can cause tinnitus, which is thought to be caused by damage to the organ of hearing or to the nerve.
I have done some research suggesting that angiotensin receptor blockers like losartan have a lower risk of tinnitus compared with other blood pressure drugs. I dont think changing medicines from losartan is likely to help your tinnitus, and you should never stop a medicine without discussing with your doctor.
I should note that pulsatile tinnitus when the sound one hears is not a constant tone, but rather a sound that pulses in time with the heartbeat is sometimes associated with an aneurysm. This should have an evaluation.
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Medications That Cause Tinnitus
The most common drugs known to cause tinnitus are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , diuretics, certain antibiotics and cancer drugs, and the malaria drug quinine. But many others can cause tinnitus, too. If you experience tinnitus after starting any new medication, or changing a dosage, discuss it right away with your pharmacist or physician to determine if you should stop, reduce, or change the medications you are currently taking.
Did you know? One of the most common drugs known to cause tinnitus is aspirin, especially when taken in high doses.
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It Isnt Just Mood Swings: You Lack Tinnitus Relief Because Of Depression And Anxiety
Depression, anxiety, and mood disorders like them can sometimes make your tinnitus worse, especially when these underlying issues are going untreated. Thats because your moods can have a very real and physical impact on your physiology. Your heart rate can accelerate, your blood pressure can skyrocketyou might start perspiring or shaking.
And those physiological reactions to anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders can exacerbate your tinnitus, as your ears can also be quite sensitive to changes in your body chemistry.
The interaction between a mood disorder and tinnitus can be particularly potent when the two conditions conspire to create a vicious cycle. A tinnitus flare-up, for example, can cause an increase in anxiety, which can lead to an escalation of your blood pressure. When your blood pressure goes up, the ringing in your ears can become louder, more profound, and more painful. And as your tinnitus symptoms become more severe, your anxiety continues to build. Its a cycle that can make your tinnitus symptoms worse both in the short term and the long term.
The best way to manage this cycle is to ensure youre properly treating both your tinnitus and any mood disorders you might have.
Whats The Relationship Between Tinnitus And Medications
The enduring rumor has associated tinnitus symptoms with countless medicines. But those rumors arent really what youd call well-founded.
Its commonly believed that a huge variety of medications cause tinnitus or tinnitus-like symptoms. The truth is that there are a few types of medications that can produce tinnitus or tinnitus-like symptoms. So why do so many people believe tinnitus is such a common side effect? Here are some hypotheses:
- It can be stressful to start using a new medicine. Or, in some instances, its the underlying cause, the thing that youre using the medication to deal with, that is stressful. And stress is commonly associated with tinnitus. So in this situation, the tinnitus symptoms arent being caused by the medication. The whole ordeal is stressful enough to cause this sort of confusion.
- The condition of tinnitus is pretty prevalent. Persistent tinnitus is a problem for as many as 20 million people. When that many people deal with symptoms, its unavoidable that there will be some coincidental timing that appears. Unrelated tinnitus symptoms can begin right around the same time as medicine is taken. Because the timing is, coincidentally, so close, people make some false assumptions about cause-and-effect.
- Many medicines can affect your blood pressure, which also can affect tinnitus.
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A Final Caution: Stroke Symptoms
Since high blood pressure can lead to a stroke, make sure that your family members and caregivers also know the signs of stroke. They should take immediate action if you suddenly experience:
- Numbness or weakness on one side of the face or body
- Confusion or difficulty speaking
- Trouble walking, or lack of balance or coordination
- Severe headache
- Stay aware and seek high blood pressure treatment
Some people may have a tendency to ignore or deny hypertension symptoms because they dont want to go to the doctor or the emergency room, they dont want to admit the possibility of being ill, or they dont understand the seriousness.A key part of healthy aging is communicating health concerns to your doctor or nurse. That includes getting immediate attention to and treatment for potential symptoms of a high blood pressure crisis.Dont disregard professional medical advice, or delay seeking it, because of what you read here. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional consultation, diagnosis or treatment it is provided as is without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Always consult a healthcare provider if you have specific questions about any medical matter, and seek professional attention immediately if you think you or someone in your care may be suffering from a health condition.
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Youre Watching The Late Late Late Show Sleep Deprivation And Tinnitus
Insomnia can have many negative impacts on the body. Whether youre skimping on sleep to get more done or youre unable to get the recommended 7-8 hours, its time to take action.
Start by keeping a behavior journal to track your daily routine and find out which activities may be impacting your sleep duration or quality. Some common culprits include:
- Caffeine or sugar in the late afternoon
- Drinking alcohol in the evening
- Not getting enough exercise
- Not managing stress
- Using devices that emit blue light, including TVs, phones, and tablets right before bed
Once youve determined the cause or causes, you can take the right steps to get yourself back on track and sleeping like a baby.
You may also find that your tinnitus symptoms are worse during the night time when youre trying to sleep, and that tinnitus itself is keeping you up. This is because tinnitus has no noise competition in a quiet bedroom, which makes it deafeningly loud. Try using a white noise machine to add some background noise while you sleep
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How To Diagnose Pulsatile Tinnitus
The first step if you think youre experiencing pulsatile tinnitus is to contact and arrange to see your doctor. Your exam will start with a review of your symptoms and your medical history.
The doctor will probably use a stethoscope to listen to your chest, neck, and skull. If your doctor can also hear a pulsatile noise, you have objective pulsatile tinnitus. If not, its labeled as subjective pulsatile tinnitus. Youll also have hearing tests to determine whether there has been any hearing loss in one or both ears.
Frankie Says Relax: Stress Makes Tinnitus Worse
In todays fast-paced world, many of us have forgotten how to relax. We feel unproductive if were not always on the go, or we let unmanaged stress eat away at us instead of attending to our needs or addressing the underlying causes.
Take some me time. Do something you love. Allow yourself to take time off. Learn to meditate and exercise more to help manage stress naturally.
If these things arent helping, you might want to consider speaking with a mental health professional. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a treatment used to great success by many mental health counselors to help patients manage their tinnitus. While CBT doesnt cure tinnitus or get rid of the ringing, patients learn how to recognize the negative thoughts associated with tinnitus and use the tools given them by the mental health professional to put a positive, realistic spin on those thoughts.
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You Can Develop Ringing In Your Ears By Using These Everyday Medicines
You wake up in the morning, and theres ringing in your ears. They were fine yesterday so thats strange. So you begin thinking about likely causes: you havent been working in the shop , you havent been playing your music at an unreasonable volume . But you did take some aspirin for your headache yesterday.
Could the aspirin be the cause?
And that prospect gets your mind working because perhaps it is the aspirin. And you remember, somewhere in the deeper recesses of your memory, hearing that some medicines were connected to reports of tinnitus. Could aspirin be one of those medicines? And does that mean you should quit using aspirin?
Jaw Problems And Tinnitus
If for no other reason than their physical proximity, your jaw and ears exhibit a certain amount of interplay between each other . Thats why problems with your jaw can cause tinnitus. TMJ, which is an affliction that causes the cartilage of the jaw to deteriorate, is a good example of this kind of jaw problem. The resulting stress produced by simple activities including chewing or speaking can ultimately result in tinnitus symptoms.
Is there anything that can be done? The best thing you can do, if your tinnitus is the result of TMJ, is to find medical or dental help.
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Youre Still Smoking Yes This Affects Your Hearing Too
Smoking rates have declined over the years, yet there are many people who are still smoking. It can be very hard to quit if youve been smoking for much of your life.
In any case, heres one more reason to re-double your efforts to kick the habit: It may be making your tinnitus worse. In fact, one study found that smokers are 15 percent more likely to suffer from hearing loss than non-smokers. The chemicals in cigarettes can harm the inner ear and constrict the blood vessels that carry blood to your ears, which leads to ringing in the ears.
Obstructions In The Middle Ear
Blockages in the ear canal can cause pressure to build up in the inner ear, affecting the operation of the ear drum. Moreover, objects directly touching the ear drum can irritate the organ and cause the perception of tinnitus symptoms. Common obstructions include:
- Excessive ear wax
- Loose hair from the ear canal
- Dirt or foreign objects
In many cases, the removal of the blockage will alleviate tinnitus symptoms. However, in some situations, the blockage may have caused permanent damage that leads to chronic tinnitus.
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You Can Develop Ringing In Your Ears By Taking These Everyday Medicines
You get up in the morning, and theres ringing in your ears. They were fine yesterday so thats peculiar. So now youre asking yourself what the cause could be: you havent been working in the shop , you havent been playing your music at an excessive volume . But you did have a headache yesterday, and you did take some aspirin last night.
Could the aspirin be the cause?
And that prospect gets your brain going because perhaps it is the aspirin. You feel like you remember hearing that some medications can produce tinnitus symptoms. Could aspirin be one of those medicines? And if so, should you stop taking it?
Can Tinnitus Be Prevented From Occurring
Although various factors like age-related hearing loss and sudden trauma cannot really be prevented, yet other factors may be prevented by taking proper care and precautions.
Low Volume: Hearing music in low volume may be advised in order to prevent damage of the hearing canal. Using headphones for hearing music should be avoided.
Wearing Hearing Protection- In case of exposure to noise from heavy machinery in workplace, hearing protection should be used during the work hours. Over the ear hearing protection are available for workers in the industry.
Lifestyle Changes: A person should live a healthy lifestyle. Routine exercise and a healthy diet keep cardiovascular problems at bay. Blood pressure should be checked from time to time to ensure proper functioning of blood vessels.
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What Makes Tinnitus Worse Here Are 12 Things To Avoid
Is the ringing in your ears getting worse? Stop doing these 12 things that aggravate tinnitus and you may see an improvement.
If you have tinnitus, no one has to tell you how miserable it can be. Verging on painful, it makes it hard to hear, concentrate, relax, and enjoy life. Yet much as youd like to get rid of it, you may be doing some things to make your tinnitus worse. Lets look at 12 things that may make the condition worse.
Definition: What Is Pulsatile Tinnitus
If you have a thumping or whooshing sounds in one or both ears that seems to follow a steady beat, you may have this rare form of tinnitus. Unlike regular tinnitus, with the pulsatile form of this condition, the noise comes from inside your body. Your doctor may be able to hear it too, if they listen with a stethoscope.
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Tinnitus And High Blood Pressure: Whats The Link
If you have tinnitus and high blood pressure, chances are, the two are linked.
Tinnitus refers to the perception of sounds in the ear that dont come from the external environment and may sound like a buzzing, pulsing, or ringing. Most tinnitus sounds cannot be heard by other people. This is called subjective tinnitus. Rarely, other people can hear the tinnitus. When this happens, this is called objective tinnitus.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels.1 Medical professionals measure blood pressure with two numbers, divided by a slash. The top number represents systolic pressure, the pressure when your heart beats. The bottom number represents diastolic blood pressure, the pressure when the heart rests between beats.1 High blood pressure is defined as systolic pressure over 130 or a diastolic pressure over 80.
Check With Your Doctor
Tinnitus might be able to be caused by a couple of other unusual medicines. And the interaction between some combinations of medications can also produce symptoms. So consulting your doctor about any medication side effects is the best idea.
You should also get examined if you start experiencing tinnitus symptoms. Maybe its the medicine, and maybe its not. Often, hearing loss is present when tinnitus symptoms develop, and treatments like hearing aids can help.
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But What Does High Blood Pressure Have To Do With Tinnitus
Can there be a connection between hypertension and tinnitus? Yes, and it is significant.
When a person has high blood pressure, there is an increased pressure on the walls of the blood vessels that carry blood to the inner ears.
In some cases this may cause ringing or buzzing in the ears. In these circumstances the patients tinnitus is described as pulsatile, since it corresponds to the heartbeat. Therefore high blood pressure is the main cause of pulsatile tinnitus.
Heart And Blood Vessel Problems
If your tinnitus resembles a pumping, beating or pulsating sound, it could be caused by damage to your blood vessels. This is known as pulsatile tinnitus. Some common underlying cardiac causes of tinnitus include high blood pressure, turbulent blood flow, heart disease, and malformations of the small arteries. Seek prompt medical care if you hear pulsing sounds.
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When To Consult An Expert
While tinnitus isnt a sure sign of a sleep disorder, there is a clear connection between tinnitus and sleep apnea. Treating your symptoms can go a long way in helping you get a good nights sleep, but if youre still struggling to sleep at night outside of your tinnitus, you may have an underlying sleep disorder.
If you think youre experiencing sleep disordered breathing or symptoms of OSA, check out our sleep apnea quiz. This quiz isnt meant to diagnose sleep apnea, but itcan help you figure your symptoms out and take steps towards potential treatment options.
Once you have an idea of what your symptoms are, a sleep expert can help you evaluate your symptoms and find the best treatment options for you.
The connection between tinnitus and sleep apnea can make getting a good nights sleep difficult, especially if you have both conditions but it doesnt have to be that way. Contact us at the Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee todayso you can get back to the deep and restful sleep you need.