Menopause & Tinnitus – Meno Angel
Menopause & Tinnitus

Estrogen, Halo, Oestrogen, Tinnitus -

Menopause & Tinnitus

Have you started to experience high pitched ringing, rushing or whirring noises in your ears? It's not uncommon for people to experience hearing changes, like hearing loss and tinnitus, in the years leading up to and during menopause.

Tinnitus is an internal, occasional, or continuous ringing, in one or both ears, with different pitches. But the noise is unique for each of us, so for yours might be an engine sound, whirring, or high-pitched whine. Whatever you hear, is it any wonder that it can make life feel unbearable. Especially as guess what? It’s often most noticeable when the shattered peri or menopausal woman tries to get some sleep.

What causes menopause tinnitus?

Who’d have thought that falling oestrogen levels could cause Tinnitus?  When it happened to us, it didn’t occur to either of us that it could be linked to our hormones. As we found out GPs don’t always make the connection either. 

Oestrogen it seems underpins signalling from the ears to the brain and falling levels may be responsible for a mix-up in sounds being communicated between the two, leading to unwanted, inner ear noise. 

While researchers are unsure exactly how oestrogen affects hearing, they do know there are oestrogen receptors in the ear cells and auditory pathways that are affected when oestrogen levels drops. A 2017 study reported that low oestrogen levels can impair hearing most likely due to change in blood flow to the cochlea.

Another study found that post-menopausal women with less oestradiol (a form of oestrogen), were more likely to have hearing loss than those with higher levels.

The British Tinnitus Association report research showing there’s a small increased risk of smokers developing tinnitus. It seems that nicotine and carbon monoxide affect the functioning of the delicate ear system.

Smoking can affect the timing and onset of your menopause, the intensity of your symptoms, and the incidence of osteoporosis post-menopause. Knowing that the onset of menopause may also trigger tinnitus is perhaps another valid reason to quit the habit, sooner rather than later!

How to help menopause tinnitus?

Tinnitus may be helped by a triple-pronged approach of modifying your diet and lifestyle and exercising more so that you are in better shape to cope with this frustrating menopausal side effect.

Unfortunately, there are currently no medical procedures or products that can help with tinnitus itself. It’s a question of learning to live with your noise, although some women take medication to deal with the anxiety and sleep deprivation that can go hand in hand with tinnitus. See your doctor for medical treatment, counselling to help you find coping strategies, or an appointment with an NHS audiologist.

Exercise to beat menopause tinnitus

Keeping your body as healthy as possible may lessen the effect of tinnitus in menopause. The two walnut-sized, adrenal glands, pump out stress hormones which can exacerbate it. Exercise helps flush out excess stress hormones, boosts feel-good endorphins, and may distract you from fretting about your tinnitus.

Adding your own noise may drown out the drone

White noise apps can be downloaded to help you to tune out your tinnitus noise. Take your pick from thunderstorms to air conditioning, there’s a noise to suit everyone.

Menopause, stress & tinnitus

Just like the age-old dilemma, which comes first: tinnitus or stress? Whether you’re stressed because you’ve developed tinnitus during menopause, or your stress levels have resulted in tinnitus, calming techniques can be useful. Yoga, pilates, mindfulness, controlled breathing techniques, and exercise may help you to feel calmer (and distract from the bloody noise!). There are some great apps for mindfulness to help calm your menopause mayhem, give them a go.

Your menopause sleep and tinnitus

It’s so unfair that tinnitus during menopause can keep you awake with its irritating non-stop personalised sound system. Unfortunately, the double whammy of sleep deprivation and exhaustion can make the impact of your tinnitus in menopause feel much worse. Experiment to find what works for you. Relaxation techniques, white noise apps or night-time formulas of herbal remedies may help get you off to sleep quicker. 


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