Fast Five Quiz: Tinnitus

Arlen D. Meyers, MD, MBA


April 07, 2021

Bhat and colleagues found a close association between tinnitus and anxiety, depression, fewer hours of sleep, and a higher number of missed workdays. A study of 19,290 adults by Kim and colleagues found a greater adjusted odds ratio for tinnitus in persons with a history of:

  • Reduced sleep (≤ 6 h)

  • Stress

  • Depression

  • Hyperlipidemia

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Asthma

  • Depression

  • Thyroid disease

  • Tympanic membrane abnormality

  • Unilateral or bilateral hearing loss

  • Noise exposure from earphones

  • Noise exposure in or outside of the workplace

  • Brief noise exposure

Although fewer hours of sleep are associated with tinnitus, and caffeine can cause sleep loss, studies have shown that caffeine use itself is not associated with tinnitus. Similarly, although recommendations often suggest that patients with tinnitus should avoid alcohol, some evidence has shown that alcohol consumption can be more helpful than harmful in terms of tinnitus. The presence of vertigo, otalgia, otorrhea, or temporomandibular joint disease can also relate to tinnitus.

Read more about risk factors for tinnitus.


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