Stress and the Prevalence of Hearing Problems and Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Research News' started by jazz, Jun 20, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      A large study in Sweden examined how stressors--work, life, health-- contributed to developing hearing loss and tinnitus among 9,756 workers. In the study, the researchers asked detailed questions regarding many types of stressors. Below is the abstract, but you can also read the full text by clicking here:

      BMC Public Health. 2011 Feb 23;11:130. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-130.
      Stress and prevalence of hearing problems in the Swedish working population.
      Hasson D1, Theorell T, Wallén MB, Leineweber C, Canlon B.
      Author information

      Abstract
      BACKGROUND:
      Current human and experimental studies are indicating an association between stress and hearing problems; however potential risk factors have not been established. Hearing problems are projected to become among the top ten disabilities according to the WHO in the near future. Therefore a better understanding of the relationships between stress and hearing is warranted. Here we describe the prevalence of two common hearing problems, i.e. hearing complaints and tinnitus, in relation to different work-and health-related stressors.

      METHODS:
      A total of 18,734 individuals were invited to participate in the study, out of which 9,756 (52%) enrolled.

      RESULTS:
      The results demonstrate a clear and mostly linear relationship between higher prevalence of hearing problems (tinnitus or hearing loss or both) and different stressors, e.g. occupational, poorer self-rated health, long-term illness, poorer sleep quality, and higher burnout scores.

      CONCLUSIONS:
      The present study unambiguously demonstrates associations between hearing problems and various stressors that have not been previously described for the auditory system. These findings will open new avenues for future investigations.​

      Reference: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/11/130
       
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    2. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      While I have not read this study in full yet: It appears to describe my condition to a T, pardon the pun. It just confirms my belief that while barotrauma pulled the trigger on my tinnitus, three years of severe workplace anxiety (fearing losing my job) and a previous brain injury from a stroke laid the foundation. Fascinating stuff in the full document. And it is a large study sample, so it carries weight. Would I have been spared tinnitus if I would have left my highly dysfunctional, stress filled workplace early on? We will never know.

      You are a super source of research info, @jazz. Thanks, as always.
       
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    3. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Yes, that's what I also liked.:) I've not seen any studies this large on tinnitus.
       
    4. Snake Plissken
      Crappy

      Snake Plissken Member

      Location:
      Chester
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/13
      I had an extremely stressful period of time leading up to onset of T, it seems many report similar occurences. It's definitely a factor.
       
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    5. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      There does indeed seem to be a pattern with stress. So my question is: If you remove the stress (get out of the bad relationship or job, meditate, get more exercise), why doesn't the tinnitus lessen or disappear? I guess the damage already has been done, and your auditory nerve is caught up in that misfiring loop.

      Although come to think of it, my T is typically less loud when I am in a calm situation. When I was on vacation in April, I barely heard it most days.
       
    6. Jeff M.
      Cowabunga

      Jeff M. Member Benefactor

      Location:
      La Jolla, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct. 2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      @LadyDi - you echoed exactly what I have been wondering for a long time. When I first developed T (for lac of a better term), I was in an extremely stressful career. At the time I attributed my T, at least partially, to the stress induced by my job. So much so, that I made a complete career change to a low to no stress job. I am mellower than I have been in 25 years!! Yet......... my T remains!!! :confused:

      I exercise, meditate, breathing exercises, surf, etc.. (which all help with habituation!!!), but the T remains! Weird.......
       
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    7. Cor

      Cor Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      Same here, extremely stressful year before t onset. Wife's mom died, settling her estate was not easy, several pets died, company I founded (but no longer own) was in turmoil causing many of my longterm employees to possible lose their jobs, injury preventing me from running, etc.
       
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    8. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Had a long period of stress (private, job, other responsibilities). At the end vertigo, dizziness, migraines and finally T. As I have read on a German tinnitus side: T is an alarm signal. An alarm, that functions very well. Unfortunately it lasts too long or cannot be switched off at all.
       
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    9. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      Same here, very stressful year prior to t.
      The flu I had was just a trigger, it was a disaster waiting to happen!
       
    10. undecided
      Fine

      undecided Member

      Location:
      Greece
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown.
      Stress is definitely a factor.
      I've been a stressful person all my life but it was something I managed to handle.
      Lots of things bothered me, however I just went with the flow. I was patient and always kept calm.
      Before developing T, I had some worrying news about my health. I got quite anxious but I didn't freak out or anything. However, some days later, I woke up having T. Coincidence? No way.

      That being said, I believe stress had a completely indirect connection to the development of my T... but a connection nonetheless. There must have been a predisposal of some sort, a tendency of the ear to be susceptible to damage. Hereditary? Acquired during my life or through my way of life? Don't know.

      We all have weak spots. Some people have sensitive stomachs. A high level of stress can give them chronic peptic ulcers. We probably have sensitive sinuses or weak inner ear hair cells. So stress might be the catalyst which enables the damage. But it's just a factor in a very large scheme of circumstances.
       
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    11. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      Same thing with me, got my tinnitus when about half a year into looking after my dad who had stage 4 bowel cancer. I was basically his sole carer out of two families because he had burnt a lot of bridges and no one realized how truly serious the situation was, was an insanely intense period of my life.
       
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    12. spingee
      Wtf

      spingee Member

      Or you have listen to your ipod music too much becouse music is well known antidepresivum :)
       
    13. Mr. Cartman
      Artistic

      Mr. Cartman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Thats a good point indeed!

      Also, thanks @jazz for sharing all the great research, information etc! :)
       
    14. william adams
      Wishful

      william adams Member Benefactor

      Location:
      S Jersey
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      one week after leg surgery plus hearing loss in higher freq.
      We live in a high stress world today and many of us have been through some rough situations. My T started seven days after surgery that had complications. Had a high stress manufacturing business for 35 years and two failed marriages, recent death of my mother probably all contributed to the onset of T. I now go to the gym 4 to 5 times a week, do accupuncture, listen to nature sounds one hour befor and after getting up from bed and practice relaxation techniques but still have my T. Will be starting tai chi next week and am on a great diet....It is funny you would think with a big change in reducing stress that the T would leave but who knows maybe someday it will !!!!
       
    15. Paromita
      Cool

      Paromita Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure, maybe dental and facial nerve
      I will pitch in too....yes I was going through terrible stress and anxeity when my T set in.
      My 13 year old daughter fell sick with LPR. As I researched this problem, I realized there are no easy solutions to this issue. Even surgery at times does or does not work. I was devastated....to me it looked like a life long trouble she will have to face. I am extremely attached to her and this was unbearable....I lost my hunger for days and could not eat.

      Then the dreaded T suddenly set in.....at first I thought it will just go away....but now it has been 2 months and I am losing hope....:( In middle of that I went for a tooth extraction....and now my jaw seems inflammed...I am sick and tired and dont know whats happening anymore...and where to go to cure this.
       
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    16. Robert44

      Robert44 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert
      yeah I was going through a very stressful time in my life when I went to that loud concert and go T.
       
    17. Mario martz
      Creative

      Mario martz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      Yes, mine came out of the blue one day, after a very very very stressfull period in my life.
      i was very worried about my health, i used end up in ER, and doctors would told me to get clonzepam and chill.
      6 months living at the edge of anxiety.
      i was reactive, depressed and with a lot of anxiety
       
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    18. Zorro!
      Wtf

      Zorro! Member

      I don't doubt that my hearing problems contributed to my tinnitus but I also can't deny the emotional component as well. In retrospect I can tick off countless things that were causing stress in my life prior to what's known as "The Great Emotional Tinnitus Crash of November 2015". The good thing to come out of this is that I've been forced to learn how to deal with all that stress. I now know how to spot when it's building up in my life. And I know how to "diffuse" it with relaxation techniques and CBT training.

      No, things aren't perfect. I still have loud tinnitus and I still experience stress. But at this point I'm much better at recognizing stress and dealing with it head-on instead of ignoring it and allowing it to build and ultimately overwhelm me. So if there's a silver lining to this tinnitus shit I guess that's it.
       
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    19. Andi Wijaya

      Andi Wijaya Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I used to be a very active person (muscular and all). Last year I gave up my diet and exercise. I gained 10kg.

      I had serious bowel problems. One internist referred me to do colonoscopy. The colonoscopy was clear but the problem persisted. I went to another internist, he diagnosed me with constipation and scoliosis. Just a few days of movicol solved my tummyache. But the T came after I thought everything was going fine (less stress).

      I wished I went to this internist earlier. He might saved me from colonoscopy anxiety, stress (2 months), and T.
       
    20. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I have had a lot of stress in my life, but was actually pretty calm leading up to my tinnitus onset. :meh:
      After T I was extremely stressed.

      I don't doubt it can be an exacerbating factor.
       
    21. Andi Wijaya

      Andi Wijaya Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Alue exactly what I experienced. I didn't understand why the T came when I was happy with my health progress. I am also suspecting my anti constipation medicine (movicol). I think there were too many imbalances (hormones, ions) combined with cancer scare. Mind and body stresses created the perfect storm.
       
    22. Paromita
      Cool

      Paromita Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure, maybe dental and facial nerve
      So Zorro, how do you deal with your stress ? What all do you do...? Are you taking anxeity medications ? Thanks, Mita
       
    23. Rings-a-Bell

      Rings-a-Bell Member

      Location:
      Barbados
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      I got my T two months ago after an accoustic trama... but it also happened the week my dying father went into palliative care at the hospital... so there was certainly a stress element.
       
    24. Zorro!
      Wtf

      Zorro! Member

      I'm off medication right now, thank God. My doc had me try clonazapam but I didn't care for it. I used Ambien to help me sleep early on but don't use it now. What I found worked best was relaxation exercises I learned from biofeedback sessions. Basically I was taught mindful meditation. It took a little less than two weeks for me to see results. I didn't think the breathing exercises were really doing anything at first but then one day I realized they were helping. My appetite came back and I began sleeping better.

      I also saw a therapist who covered "cognitive behavioral therapy" which taught me how to identify things in my life that were causing stress and how to adjust my thinking in regards to dealing with those situations.

      Granted, nothing changed overnight but in time it did change for the better. I'm done with therapy for now but can always go back if I need to. My tinnitus is as loud as ever but I seem to be handling it better. It's hard to explain. Suffice to say it was hell for awhile but eventually things did improve. I attribute a lot of that to keeping up with relaxation techniques and breathing exercises.
       
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    25. Ears Hurt

      Ears Hurt Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Whiplash or Buzzer (abuse from ex)
      Same here in a difficult period of stress seemed to be the start of t and just continued to get worse
       
    26. Eclipse
      No Mood

      Eclipse Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I do wonder sometimes about stress and T. My mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in June of 2013 and even though she's doing very well now, that was a very stressful time. Moving to be close to her, fearing if she'd get through it, financial worries, etc.. The T started December the following year. Lots of stress in between that time period. And I notice now that when I'm upset the ringing gets so loud that it's all I can focus on.

      Such an interesting article. I'm so glad I found this website.
       
    27. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Stress!?! Yeah I had a very high pressure job and a high pace life, but honestly, that was not stress compared to dealing with my ear issues. If stress can cause T, then I'm screwed as of right now, I've never been stressed like this before. I've been living a quiet boring life for almost 3 years with no outside stress except my f//ked ears. This is stress, what I had before T and H was a walk in the park, not real stress. Having my brain attacked with streaming T and pain every time there is the slightest noise, this is stress. Getting up in the morning and being scared that I won't make it through the day everyday is stress. Being tortuted every minute for my entire life if stress!! The rest was just average life stuff that normal healthy people would consider a extremely stressful lifestyle. I've easily aged 10 years in 2.5 years of this hell.
       
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