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A graphic with the text "What makes your tinnitus louder?" features an illustration of a person holding their hand to their ear, with icons above depicting a cup of coffee, a pill, a musical note, a crossed-out symbol, and a circular arrow—highlighting common tinnitus causes.

What Is Making The Ringing In Your Ears Worse?

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Dr. Rachael Cook, an audiologist at Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix, Arizona, shares her professional insights into managing tinnitus.

If you’re unfamiliar with Tinnitus, it is an auditory condition characterized by a ringing, buzzing, or humming sound, and ffects nearly 10% of the population. We’ve written on Tinnitus, and how it can disrupt your life, in this article.

Key Triggers for Tinnitus

Several everyday habits can make your tinnitus louder. Caffeine and nicotine increase blood pressure, restricting blood flow to the cochlea and worsening tinnitus. Common medications, such as pain relievers, high-dose antibiotics, and antidepressants, can also exacerbate tinnitus, especially with higher or long-term dosages.

Impact of Diet and Sleep

Dietary choices significantly impact tinnitus. Alcohol and salt alter the fluid balance in the cochlea, increasing tinnitus perception. Alcohol changes blood flow patterns and neurotransmitter production, while high salt intake has similar effects. Poor sleep quality elevates stress levels, making it harder to ignore tinnitus signals. Addressing sleep disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia can help manage tinnitus symptoms.

Importance of Treating Hearing Loss

Untreated hearing loss worsens tinnitus. Nearly 90% of individuals with tinnitus have some hearing loss. Hearing aids can reduce tinnitus perception by restoring missing sounds and reducing the brain’s internal compensatory signals. Combining hearing aids with sound therapy is said to provide even greater relief.

Read more about hearing loss in our article on the topic.

Otherwise, for a great guide on managing tinnitus, we recommend watching Dr. Cook’s video:

Here’s hoping your ear’s aren’t ringing too much whilst watching the video!

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