How does tinnitus affect stress and anxiety?

September 14, 2023
2 min
Michael Piskosz
Dr. Fabrice Bardy


Tinnitus is a condition that causes a person to experience sounds or ringing in their ears that only they can hear. For many people, tinnitus is accompanied by increased levels of stress and anxiety and can have a significant daily impact on overall well-being. 

Ways tinnitus can affect stress and anxiety are:

  1. Intrusive thoughts: Tinnitus can weigh heavy on the mind and create intrusive thoughts, making it difficult to concentrate on daily tasks and, thus, reducing overall performance. Not performing at our best on a regular basis can lead to increased stress and anxiety levels.
  2. Sleep disruption: Tinnitus can cause difficulty falling or staying asleep, which can lead to poor sleep quality, resulting in fatigue and irritability during the day, making people more prone to stress and anxiety.
  3. Hyper-focused: People with tinnitus may become hyper-focused and constantly monitor their tinnitus and any symptoms they may experience. While monitoring your tinnitus to some degree can be helpful, too much attention to it can lead to heightened anxiety and stress.
  4. Social isolation: Tinnitus can make people reluctant to participate in social activities due to the fear of making their tinnitus worse or feeling uncomfortable. This social isolation can lead to increased stress and anxiety.
  5. Mental health: The constant presence of tinnitus can negatively impact our mental health, by introducing feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and/or depression, which can contribute to stress and anxiety.

It is important to note that the relationship between tinnitus and stress/anxiety is bidirectional, meaning that although tinnitus can affect stress and anxiety, stress and anxiety can also affect tinnitus. Increased levels of stress and anxiety, for many people, can amplify the symptoms of their tinnitus. Therefore, when managing your tinnitus, it is important to also manage your stress and anxiety.

The MindEar app provides a variety of relaxation, mindfulness and breathing techniques to help manage stress and anxiety.

Managing Stress and Anxiety

Managing stress and anxiety can be challenging, but there are several strategies that can help. Here are a few practical tips for managing stress and anxiety:

  1. Practice Relaxation Techniques: Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation, can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  2. Exercise Regularly: Exercise is an excellent way to reduce stress and anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters.
  3. Get Enough Sleep: Getting enough sleep is essential for managing stress and anxiety. Make sure to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  4. Eat a Healthy Diet: Eating a healthy diet can help reduce stress and anxiety. Avoid foods that are high in sugar and caffeine, as they can exacerbate anxiety symptoms.
  5. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and non-judgmentally observing your thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall well-being.

How MindEar can help you in your tinnitus journey

MindEar offers a range of scientifically-backed solutions that can help you manage your tinnitus symptoms effectively. In the MindEar app you will find a soundscape library offering a variety of adjustable soundscapes to help you find the sound sound therapy that works best for you. You can also talk to a tinnitus expert to help determine if a sound masker is right for you. In addition, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness techniques are also accessible to provide you with the tools to take control of your condition so that you can live a life without noticing it. MindEar is here to guide you on that journey.

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