Can Tinnitus Lead To More Serious Issues?


Tinnitus is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. But can it lead to more serious issues? Below, we discuss tinnitus, it’s causes, and how it can cause Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

What Is Tinnitus and What Can Cause It?

Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears that is not caused by an external sound source1. It can be a temporary or chronic condition and can range from mild to severe. Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss. It can also occur without any hearing impairment. There are various causes of tinnitus, including:

  • Noise exposure. Loud noises, such as from concerts or machinery, can damage the inner ear and lead to tinnitus.
  • Age-related hearing loss. As we age, the structures in our ears can break down, which can result in tinnitus.
  • Earwax buildup. Excessive earwax can block the ear canal and cause tinnitus.
  • Medications. Certain medications, like aspirin or some antibiotics, can cause or worsen tinnitus.
  • Medical conditions. Tinnitus can be a symptom of other health conditions. The main conditions include Meniere’s disease, TMJ disorders, or head and neck injuries.

Tinnitus and Its Connection to Alzheimer’s Disease

Research suggests that there might be a link between tinnitus and Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder causing memory loss and cognitive decline.

One study found that those with tinnitus had a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The exact reason for this connection is not completely understood. Some believe that the chronic stress caused by tinnitus might cause Alzheimer’s.

Another theory is that tinnitus and Alzheimer’s disease share common underlying causes. These include changes in brain activity or inflammation. Further research is necessary to understand the relationship between tinnitus and Alzheimer’s disease. This research can help determine if treating tinnitus could help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Tinnitus and Its Connection to Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement. It can cause tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with balance. There is evidence suggesting a potential link between tinnitus and Parkinson’s disease.

One study found that those with tinnitus were more likely to develop Parkinson’s. The researchers speculated that this connection could be due to shared risk factors. These included age and exposure to certain medications.

Another possibility is that both conditions involve dysfunction in the brain’s dopamine system. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in our body. It regulates movement, mood, and other functions. Disruptions in dopamine function could contribute to both tinnitus and Parkinson’s symptoms.

Contact Us

Tinnitus itself is not a life-threatening condition. But it may have a connection to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. It is important to note that having tinnitus does not mean you will develop these conditions. But, it may increase your risk of developing them in the future. If you have tinnitus or have concerns about your hearing health, contact us. We can determine the cause of your tinnitus and recommend appropriate treatment options.