The role of stress, fear, and anxiety in tinnitus bother

Just about everyone with tinnitus agrees that ‘stress increases tinnitus bother while relaxation decreases tinnitus bother’. In each person’s search for a set of management tools to work with tinnitus, it is helpful to assess whether the chosen tool also decrease stress. As an example, while an anti-anxiety medication is not an FDA approved drug for tinnitus, it can get at the root of anxiety. By lessening anxiety, you are reducing stress and therefore, tinnitus may not be perceived as being so bothersome. The same goes for an anti-depressant.

Being depressed and/or anxious is very stressful on the mind and body. By taking an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication (whether short term or long term) the stress caused by being anxious or depressed is often lessened. With this lessening, often comes a lessening of stress that then lessens tinnitus bother. This program does not make medication recommendations nor is medication right for everyone. But it may be worth talking with your doctor about how a medication may be used to help with the secondary symptoms that so often go hand in hand with tinnitus in an effort to reduce stress.