Are Tinnitus and Vertigo Related?

By AOO on April 13, 2022 under ENT

Are Tinnitus and Vertigo Related?

Many people suffer from tinnitus, a ringing, buzzing or other sounds in the ear that originates from the brain. Often, it goes hand-in-hand with some type of hearing loss. However, many people also experience vertigo alongside tinnitus. It’s fair to wonder if the two conditions are related.

What Causes Tinnitus?

Tinnitus can develop for a few different reasons. It often develops in individuals who suffer from hearing loss and is often permanent. However, if a person is exposed to very loud noise over a period of several hours, they can also experience tinnitus. Sometimes, in this situation, it’s only temporary and goes away.

Certain medical conditions like Meniere’s disease can also cause tinnitus. Vertigo is another common condition that is often brought about due to a problem with the inner ear. Many people with vertigo experience tinnitus.

What is Vertigo?

Vertigo is a condition that causes dizziness and disorientation. A person might feel perfectly fine one moment, but then they suddenly feel the sensation of the room spinning around them. Usually, a person with vertigo will notice such symptoms when their head is in a different position, such as when laying down.

One of the most common types of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV. The condition is caused by the crystals in the ear coming out of their normal position. When a person’s head is in certain positions, it can cause symptoms of vertigo such as dizziness that can range from mild to severe and others like nausea and vomiting.

What is the Relationship Between Tinnitus and Vertigo?

Tinnitus and vertigo share a distinct relationship. Both conditions affect the inner ear and even the brain. Vertigo causes balance issues due to the way it affects the inner ear. Although it’s not as common as vertigo, tinnitus can also lead to problems with balance.

It should be noted that not all people who have tinnitus will develop vertigo. The reverse is also true, but tinnitus might be an issue for those who have vertigo. Some people ultimately suffer from both conditions. Those in the lattermost category often notice that their tinnitus becomes louder before vertigo manifests.

Many people who have hearing loss experience both conditions. It’s possible to have tinnitus for years due to hearing loss and then suddenly develop vertigo for the first time. This usually happens with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. As the ears are responsible for balance, the relationship between tinnitus and vertigo is more common than many people might think.

What Can You Do to Ease Tinnitus and Vertigo Symptoms?

There are a few things you can do to ease your symptoms if you have both tinnitus and vertigo. Modifying your diet can help. Caffeine, alcohol, and high levels of salt can worsen your symptoms, so cutting down on these things is wise.

Keep yourself physically active and incorporate exercises that help with balance. Regular exercise can also get the blood flowing normally and reduce your symptoms.

Seeing an ENT or audiologist can help with vertigo and tinnitus. You might even be referred to a physical therapist to help with vertigo. Certain head movements and exercises can put the crystals back in place in the ear and ease your symptoms, improving your balance. In some cases, medication might be needed to treat vertigo.

Schedule an Appointment

If you are in the Denver, Castle Rock, or Lone Tree, Colorado areas and need treatment for these conditions, call Associate of Otolaryngology ENT Specialist of the Rockies to schedule a consultation with one of the skilled team of doctors. You may also contact us online to set up your first appointment.