Tinnitus and GERD are both common conditions that affect millions of Americans. While research has yet to establish a definitive link between the two conditions, there are reasons to believe having GERD may increase your risk of experiencing tinnitus.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is often described as a ringing in the ear. However, others report experiencing different sounds, such as clicking, roaring, whooshing or buzzing.
Many people who experience tinnitus have acute symptoms that only last for short periods of time and don’t interfere with their lives in any real way. However, some people have chronic tinnitus that last months or even years
What Is GERD?
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a chronic acid reflux that is caused by a relaxed esophagus that allows stomach acid to flow up and cause irritation. Symptoms of GERD include:
- Sore throat
- Chronic cough
- Postnasal drip
- Sour taste in your mouth
How Might GERD and Tinnitus Be Connected?
Researchers are still trying to sort out the connection between these two conditions. However, there are several possible links. Studies have found that people who experience a high frequency of acid reflux symptoms seem to be at a greater risk of hearing loss. This may occur because GERD has to potential to expose your ear to gastric acid.
Since a large percentage of people with hearing loss also experience tinnitus, it stands to reason that if GERD increases your risk of hearing loss, it can increase your risk of tinnitus as well.
If you have GERD, you should make an appointment with a medical provider. They may prescribe medication, as well as recommend lifestyle changes such as eliminating fried and spicy foods from your diet and eating smaller meals throughout the day.
Not only will treating GERD help relieve your symptoms and prevent complications such as permanent damage to your esophagus, but it may reduce your risk of developing tinnitus and hearing loss as well.
The Importance of Treating Tinnitus
While some people may not need treatment, in more severe and chronic cases, tinnitus can impact your sleep, work, and even make it difficult to do simple things like go out for brunch with friends at Blue Dahlia Bistro. Treatment is essential in these cases for improving your quality of life.
- Acoustic therapy
- Tinnitus retraining therapy
- Hearing aids
- Steroid injections
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Stress management techniques
For more information on tinnitus treatments or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, call Victory Hearing & Balance today.