Tinnitus is a common symptom for many people. It’s what many call the high-pitched ringing in the ears. Whooshing, ringing, whistling, pulsing, and other such sounds describe this phenomenon. While it may be related to hearing, it is related to one’s stress levels in some cases. Below is a look at the relationship between tinnitus and stress and what one can do about it.
Tinnitus and Stress
Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss. Over time, or as a result of loud noise exposure, the microscopic hairs on the cochlea in the inner ear can become damaged, resulting in the subjective ringing sound.
The constant ringing in one’s ears can cause a person’s stress level to rise. When we hear sounds, our brains help us process it through an emotional response. The sound of birds singing could induce a pleasant feeling, but unexpected banging on the door could induce fear or anxiety. Tinnitus typically induces annoyance and eventual stress in many people, although some have learned to ignore the sound. On the other hand, while tinnitus often induces stress, it can also be the result of stress itself.
Tinnitus and Stress Studies
One study, published in 2018 by the National Institute of Health (NIH), realized that stress levels in different stages were high among most tinnitus patients. 117 patients out of the 180 tested reported stress symptoms of varying levels, namely “alert, resistance, and exhaustion.” The study could not tell whether or not stress induced tinnitus, but it cited an early study performed by John Harrison Curtis, which testified that two patients suffered tinnitus after the devastating loss of a family member. Other studies have been conducted since that showed this to be possible.
How to Cope
Unfortunately, there is yet no known way to cure tinnitus. Many people have learned to cope with tinnitus by ignoring it, but one will find that relaxation practices like deep breathing and Progressive Muscle Relaxation help one regain calm and health. Playing ambient sounds like white noise in the background can also help. Moreover, hearing aids are also beneficial. If you’d like to know more on how to reduce tinnitus stress, contact Clarity Audiology.
Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions
Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized, friendly service to the surrounding areas of Ellicott City, Catonsville, Columbia. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that are personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.