April is Stress Awareness Month, a time when we reflect on the causes of stress, including health issues like tinnitus.
Tinnitus, otherwise known as “ringing in the ears,” can create incredible stress for some people. The constant noise is annoying, disruptive, distracting and painful. In one study of 100 tinnitus patients, only 25 had no stress, 44 had mild to moderate stress and 31 had severe stress levels.1
Unfortunately, periods of intense stress can also lead to the development of tinnitus. Nearly 53.6% of individuals with tinnitus reported that their tinnitus had appeared during a stressful period of their life, and 52.8% said that their tinnitus increased during stressful periods.1 So, knowing all this information, what’s a current or potential tinnitus sufferer to do?
First, recognize that you can’t eliminate the stress caused by tinnitus or other life events. What you can do is try to lessen the impact the stress has by using different coping strategies, such as:
- Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly—Load up on veggies and fruit, then head out for a walk.
- Getting a good night’s sleep—Fatigue can worsen tinnitus, so try and sleep at least eight hours a night.
- Finding time to relax—Even 15 minutes a day of yoga or meditation can make a difference.
- Avoiding caffeine and alcohol—Both can cause your blood pressure to increase, which can make tinnitus flare.
Second, talk to your doctor about your tinnitus management plan. From cognitive-behavioral therapy to hearing aids, you may be surprised at the variety of options available. Hearing aids, in particular, can prove helpful. According to one study, nearly 60% of patients found relief from tinnitus by using hearing aids alone.2
Wondering if hearing aids could help your tinnitus? Don’t stress over it—call S. E. Wisconsin Hearing Center, Inc., at 262-884-HEAR today to schedule an appointment.
1 Hear-It. (n.d.). Stress and tinnitus – can stress cause tinnitus? https://www.hear-it.org/Tinnitus-and-stress 2 Kochkin, Sergei and Tyler, Richard. (December 2008). Tinnitus Treatment and the Effectiveness of Hearing Aids: Hearing Care Professional Perceptions. Hearing Review. https://www.hearingreview.com/practice-building/practice-management/tinnitus-treatment-and-the-effectiveness-of-hearing-aids-hearing-care-professional-perceptions