Tinnitus Gets Worse from Vasodilators (Any Supplement, Food or Drug Causing Vasodilation)

Discussion in 'Support' started by Quantum, Nov 29, 2021.

    1. Quantum

      Quantum Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing drums - 1980 to 1997
      Having had tinnitus for over 40 years now, I have had time to note certain things worsening my tinnitus. It seems that any supplement, food or drug that causes vasodilation (opening of the blood vessels) will worsen my tinnitus for a while.

      For example, it looks like any food with high content of anthocyanins (the dark blue antioxidant) will cause my tinnitus to become louder. Those antioxidants promote nitric oxide (NO) formation, and NO cause the blood vessels to open up. Food with these OPC antioxidants include blackberries, elderberries, cranberries, and the like. One of the most common food with this is beets (and beets also contains some nitrates, which promotes vasodilation as well). So, I have stopped eating those, and other food and spice as well, like balsamic vinegar, cinnamon, etc... all rich in these antioxidants.

      On the supplements side, those containing these kinds of antioxidants that I used and that do worsen my tinnitus are Resveratrol, Pycnogenol, Pomegranate Extract, Grape Seed Extract, and the likes.

      A few years ago, I tried 2 or 3 times some low dose Viagra (Sildenafil), at 25 mg. It had a disastrous effect on my tinnitus level. After some weeks, it came back, but never to my previous loudness baseline - it stayed louder than in the 30 previous years, where my baseline was stable. After some worsening due to fatigue or stress or some loud noise without warning, it would come back, after a time, to that same baseline. But not anymore. Of course Sildenafil, and all other PDE5 inhibitors, are very powerful vasodilators. I have found some other mentions of tinnitus worsening on this forum, with Sildenafil.

      When I do sports, the natural vasodilation coming with exercise also makes my tinnitus louder for a certain time.

      I guess that vasodilation drugs like Amlodipine would be very detrimental for my tinnitus. Hhopefully, I do not have high blood pressure, so no need for vasodilators of this kind.

      I could also say that I did not have these problems with vasodilators when younger. It seems that now, with aging, my tinnitus has compounded into different tinnitus components. My initial tinnitus, caused by my drumming years, had been stable for decades because I have been very careful with loud noises. But, in the last 3 years, there is another kind of tinnitus overtopping it, with its specific triggers, like vasodilators, and also, like lying for sleep or for a nap - my tinnitus is now always louder upon waking up.

      Has anybody noticed a similar problem with anything causing vasodilation?
       
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    2. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      I took 25 mg of Viagra as well, that was over a week ago.

      So far the ringing on top of my distortions has been a lot, lot worse. Still hasn't died down unless I use steroids or benzos.

      I don't think it's a far stretch to say this is accurate.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Quantum

      Quantum Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing drums - 1980 to 1997
      Thanks for the reply, Matchbox.

      Do you also get some worsening after doing sports?
       
    4. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      I took Viagra 25 mg a few times 5-6 years ago and had just very minimum temporary tinnitus spike.

      I am going to hit 50 soon and I am scared to take it now. I rather be sexless than having permanent tinnitus spike.

      I really doubt it will cause a permanent tinnitus spike though.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Quantum

      Quantum Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing drums - 1980 to 1997
      I totally agree, Sean. I'd rather take it very casually with sexuality, and go my "natural"capacities rather than risking to worsening my tinnitus significantly. So, I favor times when I feel good, and well rested, like in the morning.

      The saddest thing with my few uses of Viagra 25 mg is that, after the spike has been finished, I did not return to my previous baseline tinnitus level - my usual, daily tinnitus, out of spikes, is now louder. I have no way to be sure that Viagra is the direct cause of this change, but I am not aware of any other factors in that period of time that could explain that volume raise of my usual, chronic tinnitus. Prior to that, my baseline tinnitus had been stable for about 20 years, from my 30's to my early 50's.

      Other vasodilators, which are far less powerful, cause a temporary spike, but not as bad.

      I will still eat a chunk of dark chocolate 85% cacao, from time to time, because I love the taste. I will get a moderate tinnitus spike from it, because cacao contains quite a lot of anthocyanidins antioxidants. But once the spike is gone, I go back to the tinnitus level I had a couple of days before. Of course, I do not eat dark chocolate very often, and always in very small amount at a time. But Viagra is a next level vasodilator - I guess it hurts my inner ear badly.
       
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    6. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      Man I can’t have sex now until I take pills. I am single for the last 3-4 years so no action lately.

      I wonder what I will do if I get a new girlfriend or wife!

      I think we will have gel you can apply on penis soon. They have injections but I would be too scared to take injection on my penis. They also have suppository you can insert (muse).
       
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    7. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      Did you go to any loud events? That can cause spike.
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Quantum

      Quantum Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing drums - 1980 to 1997
      No, since I stopped to play drums and to play in bands, 25 years ago, I have been very careful to avoid any loud event. I went to some outdoors shows, sometime through the years, but stayed at the back of the crowd, very far from the speakers, and with my earplugs on. Also, I always have a pair of ear plugs ( -32 dB) in my wallet, in case I found myself in a noisy environment, for a meeting, in a restaurant, or else.

      In spring 2018, when my baseline tinnitus level increased, I had not gone to any show. The volume change happened about 2 days after taking 25 mg of Sildenafil (Viagra). It is not rare for me to have delayed effects on my tinnitus, sometimes days after the actual triggers, so it is quite possible that Viagra is the culprit (and, when I had TTTS, once, it appeared two weeks after the trigger, and lasted 4 months... but that's another story...). I challenged that effect with Viagra a few more times, and indeed, it seems that I was right, so I quit taking it. But tinnitus can fluctuate a lot within a day or week or month, so it is hard to get clear results and be sure of anything.
       
    9. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      How is your tinnitus now? Is it very intrusive? Can you function properly? Hear it over TV/conversations etc?
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Quantum

      Quantum Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing drums - 1980 to 1997
      Since 2018, it has become more intrusive than it was before. So, I had to get used to this new base level. I am now quite habituated to this new base level, but still get distracted with my tinnitus when I get a spike from one of my triggers. If in a relatively loud environment, it is easy to forget about it. At home or in a quiet setting, it is harder to ignore, but after over 30 years, I got good at focussing my attention elsewhere. I can function properly, but I had to emotionally accept first that I will probably never be able to return to the previous base level I had during about 20 years. I had to accept my new normal. After accepting it, and managing my emotions toward it, now I can function normally. I happen to hear it more often because it is objectively louder, but my skills to deal with it has increased too :)

      I am a long time meditator. Obviously, since my tinnitus is louder now, it is my meditation practice that has been affected the most. Silence is not possible anymore for me, so, I had, again there, had to adapt, and find inner silence despite my tinnitus. I now have adjusted my meditation practice to this new tinnitus level.

      When my tinnitus got louder in 2018, I found this thread, here, that helped me a lot to strengthen my tinnitus habituation skills and manage my emotions and reaction:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/back-to-silence.7172/

      As we all know, the more we worry about our tinnitus, focus on it, or resist or fear or get angry about it, the worse our tinnitus becomes. So emotional management did help me a lot.
       
    11. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      How do you meditate with noise in your ears?

      I really want to start because I know meditation can transform our lives and make us stronger. I used to do mantra meditation in the past. That’s the one thing I always wanted to do when I get old but it seems tinnitus has taken that away from me along with going to concerts!
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Quantum

      Quantum Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing drums - 1980 to 1997
      For sure, tinnitus is somehow a challenge, and calls for enhanced skills allowing for a deeper meditative state. One have to treat tinnitus just like trains of thoughts are managed - you cannot get rid of them, you just do not give your attention either to your tinnitus or to your thoughts. Some people say they can get a totally silent mind, but that is quite rare, and, obviously, impossible to validate. For most people, like myself, meditation is about no identifying yourself with your thoughts, and keeping quietly distanced from them. It means staying deeply centered in your conscious, silent, presence. The louder the tinnitus (or the more thoughts trains coming and going in your mind), the more skillful one has to become at letting go. The key is to not identify yourself neither to your thoughts, nor your tinnitus, and not to any emotions that could arise from the tinnitus, like irritation, sadness, anxiety, or else.

      That, for sure, is one of the best benefits we can gain from meditation: being able to get some perspective and distance between us and our thoughts, emotions, noise in the surrounding... and tinnitus... which can become part of all this noise we learn no to stick to, and stay in our calm, inner, flowing presence. Whenever I get too much stuck on my tinnitus and to my emotional reactions to it, I bring back my awareness deeper in the non-physical place of my inner peace. I hope this makes sense to you.

      Using some soft soundtrack can help when the tinnitus is too loud and the environment too silent. River sound with birds, or calm meditation music, or binaural beats. But since 2018, any track is not enough to mask my tinnitus, unless it would be too loud and would worsen my tinnitus, so using soundtracks does not spare me from the inner discipline and skills I outlined above.

      Of course, I do not take pleasure at making this challenge tougher than it is, so I avoid the vasodilators causing my tinnitus to spike, and all my other triggers as well, like loud sounds, fatigue, too much stress, lack of sleep, and so on. It is much easier to meditate when I am at base level or near it.
       
    13. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      I will give meditation a try again with white noise in the background. It can definitely teach you how not to react to tinnitus or any other stressor.

      People have claimed in the past that they have very high tinnitus but after practicing meditation they have learned to ignore it.
       
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    14. Sam Marksmen
      Confused

      Sam Marksmen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meds
      I'm going on the Medical Medium diet which contains a cup of blueberries. Is this a bad thing?

      I've heard real success stories from this diet.
       
    15. GuitarMan

      GuitarMan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Mild hearing loss due to high volume sounds
      Not directly related to vasodilators but I've noticed a significant spike in the level of my tinnitus when I work out. Working out increases blood flow much like vasodilators so I'm sure there is some causation happening here in which increased blood flow may be having an effect on some nerves that when stimulated can increase the tinnitus level in the same way that manually compressing the nerve bundle behind my left ear (the one with tinnitus) makes it a lot louder.

      This is one of the most frustrating aspects for me. They say there is no cure but if I can do something physical that makes it worse, e.g., increase blood flow, press on certain nerves or blood vessels, why can't the figure out a way to do the opposite, e.g., reduce blood flow, reduce pressure on certain nerves, in the area that affects the loudness of my tone in order to reduce it to a more tolerable level or eliminate it entirely?
       
    16. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      Exercise actually causes vasoconstriction in some areas, and vasodilation in others (veins, skin, heat and increased pressure).

      I find exercise is one of the few things that will quiet it down when my head pressure goes way up when my heartrate is allowed to catch up with my workout resting.
      pseudoephedrine and caffeine are similar.

      The ringing, when I have it, gets worse, but the ringing is a joke compared to the low frequency stuff of hydrops.
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Quantum

      Quantum Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing drums - 1980 to 1997
      Hi GuitarMan,

      The volume of my tinnitus is always higher after exercise or sport, so the causation link is established, in my case. Only rest and time can make it go back to baseline.

      I cannot worsen my tinnitus by pressing with my hand, but I sure can make the volume higher by clenching the jaws and also by turning the head to the maximum (it then pinches nerves or vessels or both). That phenomenon lead me to see that I have two different tinnitus versions: my baseline tinnitus, and that upper level tinnitus that I have when exercising, taking vasodilators, clenching the jaws, and so on. Hopefully, up to now, this higher tinnitus is resolving to baseline tinnitus, even if this baseline tinnitus is higher since 2018 than it was in the 20 years before that.
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Quantum

      Quantum Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing drums - 1980 to 1997
      My take, if this can help you, is that it would be safer to try it first with a smaller quantity of blueberries and see what happens. In my case, blueberries are not the worst, I can eat some without affecting my tinnitus too much, and it is reversible within 24 hours. In comparison, black raspberries/blackberries are really to avoid for me, my tinnitus becomes significantly louder and it can last for 2 to 3 days, even with a few of them. I guess you will have to make your own experiences.

      But to reassure you, I can say that any worsening of my tinnitus caused by food had been reversible, withing a few days, or max 1 week. I cannot say the same for stronger vasodilators like Viagra, which is probably what have made my baseline tinnitus permanently louder since 2018. So, for anyone who has a bad effect from beets or blackberries or similar, I would stay away from powerful Nitric Oxide booster supplements like those used in fitness, and also stay away from PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra/Sildenafil and Cialis/Tadalafil.
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Quantum

      Quantum Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing drums - 1980 to 1997
      Hi Matchbox,

      I totally agree with you about the vasodilation effects of exercise.

      Sorry for this low frequency sounds you have, I do not have that. So, for me, the net effect of exercise is louder tinnitus till the next day. It is not enough, though, to stop me from playing sport or exercising - it is too positive for my overall health. I have chosen some years ago not to let tinnitus rule my life. Because, even if I do all I can to keep it as low as possible and avoiding spikes, it is still there anyway, and it will often spike anyway.
       
    20. Sam Marksmen
      Confused

      Sam Marksmen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meds
      Cialis is how I got my severe tinnitus in the first place. I ate some black berries off the bush a few days ago. I wonder if that is responsible for my spike. They contain Anthocyanins which are responsible for the spike I believe.

      Could the spike from Cialis that has lasted over a year and a half ever resolve itself? Or is that just too much time and things will be this way.
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Quantum

      Quantum Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing drums - 1980 to 1997
      Like I wrote in my original post in this thread, any food with high content of anthocyanins (the dark blue antioxidant) will cause my tinnitus to become louder. Blackberries are among the worst for me, I must completely avoid them. So, if your tinnitus is, like mine, you will have a spike every time you eat them. And, usually, there are several hours of delay between the time I eat something like blackberries that promotes NO production and the time the spike begins.

      I tried some Viagra in 2018, it causes a spike, and my tinnitus never returned to what it was before. In my book, when it lasts more than a few months, it is no longer a spike, it had become a chronic state.
       
    22. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      I think that cochlear vs central tinnitus plays a HUGE role in this. I definitely have BOTH and can tell how one gets worse whilst the other better taking vasodilators or xanthines. Crazy cray.

      The ringing gets worse using the xanthines and exercising, any constriction or loss of blood flow to the ears (stand up fast) and it's like, BAM 3x louder central ringing.

      The cochlear stuff of nightmares for me is much worse with vasodilators, or if I don't use constrictors.
       
    23. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      I have that sitting to standing and loud ringing. I can also hear blood flow in my ears putting head down with intense pressure.
       
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Quantum

      Quantum Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing drums - 1980 to 1997
      Interesting, Matchbox. I understand that your ringing is central, and that your cochlear tinnitus is low frequencies, is that right? Your description of the effect of vasodilators on cochlear tinnitus totally fit my experience. But in my case, my cochlear tinnitus is a ringing, and I have no central tinnitus, so I am not in this "catch 22" situation like you vs vasodilators, and I just avoid them.

      I do not drink coffee, but already tried pseudoephedrine in the past, as vasoconstrictor, but no noticeable improvement of my tinnitus, with it. Looks like my tinnitus is easy to worsen, and hard and long to improve, and I think it is similar for many other tinnitus sufferers.
       
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