Are tinnitus and menopause linked? It is actually one of the more unusual symptoms of perimenopause and menopause and it can be such a frustrating symptom. At Rowena Health Menopause Specialist Clinic we can help you understand tinnitus.
Hissing, buzzing, ringing, whistling, humming, constant or intermittent, one ear or both.
What is tinnitus?
It is the sensation that you can hear a noise, but there is no external sound. Some people may feel that the noise is coming from the outside, and look for it until they find out it is actually coming from inside them. It can be constant or intermittent and can vary in volume. It can be heard as a ringing, hissing, buzzing or a whistling.
Tinnitus affects 1 in 10 people and it is more common as we get older. We don’t know the exact answer to what causes tinnitus, it is thought that it results from a change, either mental of physical, that it not necessarily related to hearing. It may be caused by the brain responding differently to the information sent to it by the ear. It is rarely an indication of a serious disorder, but please see a Dr if it is persisting, particularly if it is only heard in one ear, it is pulsatile or you have rapid hearing loss.
It is one of the more unusual symptoms found in perimenopause and menopause, but of course it has other causes.
Other causes of tinnitus
- Increasing age
- Exposure to loud noise
- Impacted wax (I see this often in GP)
- Ototoxic drugs like some antibiotics, water tablets, aspirin and NSAIDS
- It is also associated with Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, changes in blood lipids, ear infections, acoustic neuroma, thyroid disorders, zinc deficiency, anxiety, depression, vascular abnormalities, heart valve problems, anaemia and MS
What might a Dr do?
Take a thorough history, looking for associated symptoms like hearing loss, dizziness, vertigo, balance issues, neurological changes, serious mood changes, stress, triggers like medications.
A detailed examination of the ears, nervous system, cardiovascular system, blood pressure. Metabolic disease can present with tinnitus and women going through menopause have metabolic changes.
It may be necessary to arrange blood tests.
How to manage with tinnitus?
- Think how it is affecting you.
- Tinnitus is common and it may resolve on it’s own.
- Talking to someone can help. Tinnitus support groups can also be helpful, the BTA, British Tinnitus Association, offers a confidential tinnitus helpline: 0800 018 0527
- Relaxation can help, as stress can be associated with tinnitus, mindfulness can help
- Using sound, as tinnitus is more noticeable in a quiet environment, using a radio can help
- Addressing sleep problems
- Using CBT can help
- Some people use a hearing aid, if they have suffered from hearing loss
Last updated September 2023 Dr Carys Sonnenberg
For an appointment at Rowena Health Menopause Specialist Clinic online on at our Guildford Clinic do click the link to book, we’d be delighted to see you.