Stress is a part of everyday life that we can’t avoid – good or bad! Stress is essentially the way that your body responds to specific scenarios in life. While “good” stress could be like having a baby or starting a new job, “bad” stress can be getting in an accident, losing your job, or worrying about finances.
Regardless of the situation, the physiological, emotional, and physical effects of stress on the body can undoubtedly exacerbate certain illnesses and, over time, can begin to cause symptoms such as chronic headaches, obesity, and even cardiovascular disease.
Stress and Tinnitus
One aspect of health that is often overlooked is the correlation between stress and tinnitus. Tinnitus occurs when there is a ringing, buzzing, or humming sound in one or both ears (although other noises can also be heard). Those who suffer from tinnitus find that it comes and goes or is worse at some points of the day.
According to the British Tinnitus Association, there is a relationship between tinnitus and stress, which can be helpful information for those seeking relief from their symptoms. First, though, we need to take a look and see how stress – good or bad – affects the body.
Based on information from the Cleveland Clinic, stress can present itself through signs and symptoms such as digestive issues, a racing heart, clammy hands, shaking, increased blood pressure, a clenched jaw, and even a decrease in energy levels.
The number and severity of symptoms will vary from person to person; however, for those dealing with tinnitus, an increase in stress can begin the onset of unpleasant ringing and
buzzing in the ear.
What Does the Science Say?
The British Tinnitus Association notes that there is uncertainty around the start of stress and, correspondingly, the onset of tinnitus; however, if a stressful period is being experienced, people have noticed their symptoms worsening – and even after the stress has dwindled and the body is recovering.
Over time, this can turn into a vicious cycle; the onset of stress can trigger tinnitus, leading to more stress in dealing with the symptoms. Thankfully, there are ways that you can manage stress appropriately, which can hopefully help decrease physical symptoms and relieve tinnitus.
What Can You Do to Relieve Stress?
Exercising, reading a book, taking a walk with a friend, or even just enjoying a few minutes of quiet meditation can help reduce stress. A popular go-to in the fitness realm for both increased flexibility and improving overall mindfulness is yoga; while practiced in several different ways, the foundation of this type of exercise is ultimately the same – to calm the body and decrease negative or stressful thoughts.
Not into flexibility classes? Not to worry….other activities like coloring, completing a puzzle, taking a bath, or gifting yourself a massage or pedicure can also decrease stress levels.
Regardless of the activity that you choose to participate in to reduce your stress, the end result is the same! With exercise, you end up creating more of a hormone called serotonin, which essentially aids in balancing out your moods and keeps anxiety at bay.
Outside of physical activity, other stress-relieving activities (such as guided meditations) allow you to be aware of how you’re feeling, both mentally and physically. Once you realize how you’re feeling – and the corresponding factors or situations that cause those feelings – you can then begin to use this foundation to relieve future stressors.
For example, maybe you realize that your jaw is clenched or your hands are in tight fists, and you just popped out of a work meeting. What occurred within the meeting that caused this type of reaction? Self-reflection is an excellent way to build a stronger connection between the mind and body, and in turn, decrease stress levels.
While you might think that you can push through stress, over time it can wreak havoc on the body. Aside from the symptoms of tinnitus flaring up, research has shown that not responding appropriately to stress and dealing with it effectively can actually lead to increased levels of depression and overall anxiety, as well as issues like heart disease.
Determining which style of stress relief works better for you might take a bit of effort, but even if it’s just a quick walk outside during your lunch break, it’s better than nothing at all!
Let Us Help You!
If you’ve attempted to decrease stress levels to help treat your tinnitus but haven’t experienced any relief, it’s time to reach out to hearing specialists. The experts at Hearing Associates of Las Vegas can help! Using the latest technology, we provide in-depth consultations and several treatment options, including sound therapy, hearing aids, and counseling to help manage tinnitus effectively.
So reach out today if you need more support in improving stress levels and decreasing tinnitus symptoms.