Tinnitus is a ringing, buzzing or clicking noise in the ears that cannot be heard from the outside. Tinnitus is relatively common, with approximately 15% to 20% of people affected. Though tinnitus is frequently caused by damage to the ears from loud noise, hearing loss, ear injury or problems with the circulatory system, a lesser-known cause of tinnitus is blood pressure medication.
How Can Blood Pressure Medication Cause Tinnitus?
You will probably notice an accompanying list of potential side effects whenever you start taking a new medication. Reading and understanding this list of side effects is essential to making an informed decision about your medication.
Medications that can cause hearing issues, such as tinnitus or hearing loss, are referred to as ototoxic drugs. Ototoxic drugs can damage the sensory cells used in hearing. A fair amount of blood pressure medications have been found to be ototoxic. Although the reason blood pressure medication can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss is not fully understood, an association between the two has been established.
Ototoxic drugs are not always avoidable. They are often used to treat life-threatening conditions and have shown that their benefits can outweigh the negatives. Staying informed of the side effects of blood pressure medication can help you decide to take it.
Let’s discuss how to manage your blood pressure to avoid needing medication.
Lifestyle Changes To Manage Blood Pressure
The Mayo Clinic offers the following ways to manage your blood pressure through lifestyle changes rather than through medication:
- Eat your fruits and vegetables. Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods containing high levels of cholesterol, sodium and saturated fats can help lower your blood pressure. Try picking up some fresh greens at East End Farmers Market.
- Get a full night’s sleep. A lack of sleep can lead to stress and hypertension. Do your best to get seven to eight hours of rest a night.
- Exercise. Regular physical activity can result in slightly lowered blood pressure and a host of other benefits, including better sleep and lower stress levels. Try adding a walk through the park to your daily routine.
- Reduce stress. High-stress levels can contribute to high blood pressure. Avoid stress by meditating, avoiding stress triggers and finding time to relax for at least a few minutes each day.
Do your best to lower your blood pressure through lifestyle changes. If your doctor does recommend medication, consider discussing hearing-safe options with them. Knowing which medications may result in tinnitus can help you make an informed decision about your treatment path.
Contact Hearing Systems today for a hearing evaluation with one of our trusted audiologists.