Alcohol and Its Effect on Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Louise, Jan 26, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      I was wondering if anyone else has noticed a positive or negative effect on their T from drinking alcohol?

      Its the only dietary thing that I've noticed which affects mine. Adversely. Very adversely in fact :(
      It goes back to 'normal' when the drink has worn off but until then it ramps up.
       
    2. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
    3. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      And another.... shows drinking alcohol causes a temporary threshold shift in the hearing. This would mean the brain would compensate by reducing filters so we can hear better. Thats bad for T because it means we can also hear more of the awful noises as the filters are dropped. That's what 'Disco Tinnitus' is.

      Two glasses of wine definitely affects my T. As of now I'm on the wagon.

      http://www.healthyhearing.com/conte...Causes/11069-Reasons-for-hearing-loss-alcohol
       
    4. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Been investigating more about the effect of alcohol on neurotranmission because a therpaist told me that 'alcohol is the antidote to glutamate'. Seems she's right as its a Glutamate antagonist. I'm looking into it as alcohol seems to make my T worse so this could mean that my particular mechanism isnt over-production of glutamate leading to excitotoxicity (which is one of the theories as to the cause of T). Having said that, alcohol does give a temporary threshold shift to the hearing and so this might be why my T gets worse. Thinking about it, when I have a drink the noise I get is different to the normal T. Still no wiser. Anyway, this is the link, and the interesting bit quoted.......

      http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh21-2/120.pdf

      "Consistent with the finding that alcohol inhibits
      NMDA receptor function, acute alcohol exposure was
      shown to reduce excitotoxicity in neurons from the brain’s
      outer layer (i.e., the cortex) (Tsai et al. 1995). To compensate
      for chronic alcohol-induced NMDA receptor inhibition,
      however, the number of NMDA receptors on the cells and,
      thus, the level of receptor activity increase after long-term
      alcohol exposure (Grant et al. 1990; Trujillo and Akil 1995)."
       
    5. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Alcohol always makes my T worse. I consider it a small price to pay when I am out having fun with friends. It always returns to baseline the next day
       
    6. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Mine does too. I think that shows a Temporary Threshold Shift (like Disco Tinnitus). Im after understanding the implications of it on Glutamate though. Its a glutamate antagonist so it should make your normal T sound less if the T is a result of excess glutamate exciting the aud cortex neurons.
       
    7. click
      Busy

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      Maybe it's cumulative? After weeks of consuming it I do think that the effect of cinnamon is cumulative, not immediate (in lowering it) as it makes it more distant overall but even one day without it makes a difference (then T is less distant).

      Haven't had any alcohol since I was 22 so perhaps that's why mine disappears?

      Theories, threories, theories... so many theories :(
       
    8. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Yes, many theories.

      That last post says that alcohol is a glutamate antagonist. So if a persons T improves when they drink then this seems to suggest that their T mechanism is excess glutamate (excess glutamate as a T mechanism has been discussed in other threads). But there's a complication, alcohol also causes a TTS where the hearing gets worse and so this can cause more T to be heard. When I drink I get a different noise, like disco tinnitus.

      Going to stop having any this week. I may get some cinnamon too, see what happens.
       
    9. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Many people relax when they drink, and it gets there mind off tinnitus.

      I love having 1-2 glass of merlot at night. One of the great pleasures of life, and it's something to look forward to. I look at it as "my reward" at the end of the day.

      In the U.S., they sell a wine called "Charles Shaw" sold a Trader Joe's. This wine was originally sold for only $2/bottle, so it goes by the name "2 Buck Chuck". Now it's about $4/bottle. Despite the low price, it is excellent. I love that stuff.
       
    10. click
      Busy

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      Yes. we all needs ways of relaxing and it's suddenly even more important now. I find a long walk or relaxing with friends does the same for me. Gardening's good too; I just wish the weather would warm up a bit. It's difficult to garden in the snow.
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    11. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      You're a cheap date then Karl :)

      Dont you find it interesting though that alcohol is a glutamate antagonist? So, despite the relaxing effects, a person should still be able to tell if its lowered the T and then they might conclude that over-production of glutamate by the hair cells is their mechanism.

      Its also interesting that it causes a hearing temporary threshold shift. I wondered why, when I'd only had 2 glasses the T got worse, its the TTS that's doing it. Not good to be giving yourself a temp threshold shift when you have T and your aud pathway is so sensitive!!

      I also love a glass or two of Red in the evening (Rioja my current fave) so this has come as a blow.
       
    12. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I enjoy micro brews but lately been really into this hard apple cider called Angry Orchard
       
    13. mock turtle

      mock turtle Member

      Location:
      puget sound
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/26/1992...habituated after 2 years; 11/04/11 new outbreak
      wine definitely makes my tinnitus worse and for the longest time i couldnt figure out why...

      cause distilled spirits definitely decreased my sense of tinnitus, ! ? !

      then

      about the time i figured out msg and aspartame made my T worse...i then learned that a variety of other "chemicals including sulfites did too!

      and wine naturally produces lots of sulfites as part of the fermntation process AND many vintners ADD sulfites to control the fermentation process ! ! !

      as for alcohol causing hearing damage...could be, ....ive sure drunk more than my fair share in my life

      but clearly, antibiotics, beta blockers and noise have had a more deleterious effect, by at least an order of magnitude (10 times or more), on the demise of my hearing

      4 ounces of whiskey reduces my perception of tinnitus by an amount equal to .5mg of clonazepam but only for about half the time, and clonazepam doesn't (apparently) make me even half as stupid nor as uncoordinated as alcohol

      (disclaimer...stupid to begin with)
       
      • Like Like x 1
    14. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      One of those links described it as ototoxic! We dont want to believe that though do we? :)

      What does it all mean about glutamate though, if it reduces your T you might conclude that excess glutamate production could be your problem. But then it could be the relaxing effects of it that seem to reduce the T rather than its glutamate antagonist action. Hard to tell.

      I think it makes mine worse due to the TTS.
       
    15. mock turtle

      mock turtle Member

      Location:
      puget sound
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/26/1992...habituated after 2 years; 11/04/11 new outbreak
      erik....yeah i love hard cider, but like wine it makes my ears ring , and i have read that just about any yeast fermentation process produces not only sulfites in many cases, (not all) but frequently , believe or not, glutamate !

      Louise, the third article you linked to, up top, upon re-reading it.... i was struck by the evidence that alcohol also effects "long term potentiation" with the result that a brain frquently exposed to alcohol produces more NMDA receptors ! yikes !! just what a person who has tinnitus does NOT want

      and also goes on to say that the brains response to neuronal damage is compromised and brain plasticity is negatively effected too, by alcohol

      i have hit the bottle to deal with stress and tinnitus more times than i care to admit...hmmm..... turns out im an even bigger fool than i thought

      and recently i read that opiate related pain killers are ototoxic...so even if one is willing to drink or narcotize ones self into somnolescence

      there just doesnt seem to be safe way to "drug" the ringing into silence
       
    16. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Its not pleasant reading is it MT? :(

      But, doesnt it say that those extra NMDA receptors die off if you stop drinking or did I imagine that? I'll have to re-read.

      It does say that alcohol is a glutamate antagonist though doesnt it? Or have I read it wrong, I was speed-reading them.

      You arent on your own about the bottle-hitting, I've done it to deal with a lot of things in the past and also binge drinking is the culture where I come from so I've had hundreds of nights out where getting drunk was everyones aim!!
       
    17. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Louise, most bottled wine contains Sulphites which is a t trigger in some cases, just like MSG.
      Try a bottle of beer and see if your t goes up. I've read a lot of people actually get relief after drinking a 6-pack.
       
    18. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Interesting Dan, I will try beer. But, alcohol will still give a TTS and that has to be bad for an over-sensitive auditory system doesnt it?
       
    19. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      I have noticed something odd..... the day after I have drunk a lot of wine my T is always a lot quieter. Or it is mostly. I had a lot of wine yesterday as I was celebrating with someone and for some minutes today I almost had silence. I did, almost. I would gladly live with what I experienced then forever.

      There's something else strange I've noticed too..... my T can be quieter in the morning and then when I eat (anything) it ramps up. Its like the act of eating gets it going.

      Today I had the 'almost silent' minutes then I got breakfast and then it went up.

      Does anyone else get any of this happening? Or is everyone teetotal? :)
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    20. oatsey

      oatsey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2011
      I've noticed whenever I've had a few beers, my tinnitus calms down, or at least it seems to.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    21. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Is that on the day/night you have it though? When I get back in from drinking it the T is louder than normal like Disco T but without me having been exposed to any noise. Then the morning after its the quietest it ever gets. But its only the morning after. I cant work it out.
       
    22. Map
      Balanced

      Map Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Czech Republic
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2003 (mild), 12/2012 (loud)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      I am experiencing similar behaviour when drinking alcohol (mostly beer). The evening after drinking is T loud and next day it seems to be quieter. Dont have explanation for it either.
       
    23. Hudson
      Cowboy

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Beer helped me originally habituate to my tinnitus. Beer had this amazing effect on me of casuing me to not give a shit about the tinnitus. It never made it louder or quieter. What it did do though was make things seem a lot better and me care about the tinnitus a lot less. So much so, that over time I didn't think about it or even consider it an issue anymore.
       
    24. James
      No Mood

      James Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      Pulsing 03/2013
      Oh no, after reading Louise's link to hearing loss and alcohol, that's another thing on the list that probably caused the T in me. I want to blame it on something. Of course, it implies a lifetime of use. After working all day, I was wondering what a cold beer might taste like. I had a bowl of fiber cereal and a nap instead.
      I wish there was one thing that made T better.

      ---- A glutamate antagonist, I need a better understanding on what that means.
       
    25. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      I have not yet tried drinking alcohol other than in very small amounts (1/4 glass of wine or a few swallows of beer). I've noticed no effect of such small amounts on my T.

      I do experience the same thing as you with eating. Eating anything almost always increases my T volume - no matter the time of the day, or what I eat. I have not tracked it rigorously enough to say for sure, but it seems to me that two things really affect my T volume - salt and chocolate.

      By the way Louise, I'm so glad to hear that you have had some moments of silence. I have been having some sustained minutes of silence lately, too. I'm thinking the spring weather is partly responsible. Sunlight and warm weather have always been good medicine for me.
       
    26. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      I'm so glad its not just me! There has to be a reason. I know alcohol is a glutamate antagonist but surely after so many hours sleeping it would've left the system?

      I think something happens in our sleep too as mine is usually quieter when I wake up and in the morning.

      Its all very X Files!
       
    27. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      We've found the cure - beer! So, beer = habituation. Cool!
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    28. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Booze wont have given you T James, Im sure. I've had many, many years in my youth of out partying 3 nights a week and consuming a lot of wine then. It never gave me T.

      I think once the hearing system is damaged though it could be another matter. I still don't think one beer would hurt though! Though it is a 'mind-alerting' substance so its going to affect brain chemistry which we know affects T.

      Why hasn't some scientist got the answer to this? Might get my little black book of scientists out and email them :)
       
    29. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      A 1/4 of a glass? Steady on there Mick, you don't want to go crazy with that stuff :ROFL:

      You get the same with eating as I do too - again Im glad its not just me. What could it be? I didn't eat until 1:30pm yesterday and it was quiet, after I ate it shot up and stayed there. It always then stays loud.

      I've only had the silence thing twice Mick. And Im sure the other one was after a night of wine consumption.
      I'm glad you're getting bits of silence, surely it means it will go away eventually :)
       
    30. Map
      Balanced

      Map Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Czech Republic
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2003 (mild), 12/2012 (loud)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      I was quite heavy beer drinker when I had mild form of tinnitus for 10 years. It never worsened it permanently, always it was only temporary change.

      Now when I have severe tinnitus I am avoiding drinking alcohol as much as possible, but I really sometimes need to have 1-2 glass of beer with my friends to relax and live normal life.
       

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