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Can Stress Cause Hearing Loss?

A woman holds her head to relive stress after a busy day at work.
– 4 minute read

Learn More About Stress and Hearing Loss for Patients in TX & LA

Stress is the body’s reaction to changes in your environment. Stress is your body’s fight-or-flight response. It gives you what you need to either run from a situation or stay and hold your ground. Some stress levels are good because they motivate you to try new things and push yourself harder. However, living with daily stress can be harmful to your body. High levels of stress are becoming more normalized every day, but chronic stress has been linked to several long-term health problems, including permanent hearing loss. 

Below, our team discusses the connection between stress and hearing loss and provides tips for patients throughout Texas and Louisiana who are dealing with stress. We’re happy to answer further questions and provide additional information about our comprehensive hearing care services. Contact Estes Audiology today to learn more. 

The Dangers of Chronic Stress & Hearing Health

Your body releases adrenaline when stressed, allowing you to move more quickly and breathe faster. However, an increase in the hormones in the long term can suppress your sleep, reproductive, immune, and digestive systems. During a stressful event, your brain sends your body a signal when it’s over, telling it to return to a normal state. When a person feels constantly stressed, their body doesn’t receive a clear signal, which can lead to serious health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other illnesses.

When you’re stressed out, your circulation is limited and can cause permanent hearing loss. The tiny hair cells in your inner ear depend on good circulation to convert sound waves into electrical impulses. These impulses are sent through the auditory nerve to interpret them as sound. When these hair cells can’t get proper blood flow, they become damaged, resulting in permanent hearing loss. Poor circulation can also cause pulsatile tinnitus, which is described as a pulsing ear noise that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat.

Managing Stress

The best way to protect your hearing is by preventing damage before it occurs. This can be achieved by learning how to manage your stress. Below is a list of tools to help manage your stress. 

Take a Break

Separate yourself from the thing that’s causing you stress for as little as 20 minutes to give you a new perspective and help you feel less overwhelmed.

Get Support

Discussing your stressors with friends and family can be helpful. You may even be surprised by the feedback they offer. Reach out to a mental health professional about your concerns when you’re ready.

Relax & Meditate

Meditation can help your body and mind to relax. Adding this practice to your bedtime routine can help you clear your mind and sleep better.


Adding at least 20 minutes of exercise can dramatically improve your overall physical and mental health.

Tinnitus & Stress 

In addition to permanent hearing loss, poor circulation can contribute to tinnitus. Pulsatile tinnitus, a less common type, is characterized by a rhythmic ear noise that pulses in time with your heartbeat. High blood pressure is a common cause of this condition, which can result from long-term stress. Stress can also lead to a tinnitus flareup, making it harder to follow through with your normal habituation or management techniques.

How Can a Hearing Care Provider Help?

If you’re not hearing as well as you once did, we recommend making an appointment with a hearing care provider. One of the first things they will do is get to know your hearing health, medical history, and any concerns you may have. Once your hearing health history is complete, they will conduct a comprehensive hearing evaluation to determine whether you have hearing loss and to what degree. Based on your history and hearing evaluation results, you’ll work closely with your provider to develop a customized treatment plan based on your lifestyle and hearing expectations.

Get Relief for Your Hearing Loss Symptoms Today

To learn more about protecting your ears from the dangers of long-term stress, reach out to the hearing experts at Estes Audiology today. Our team has years of experience taking a comprehensive approach to hearing healthcare for our patients throughout Texas and Louisiana. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment online to schedule a hearing evaluation.

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