Happy Spring Equinox everyone!!
It feels good to see the sunshine and know that we are heading in the right direction for warmer, brighter days – I know it certainly lifts my soul. So, today we find ourselves at T on our Menopause Symptoms A-Z Weekly Blog and I am going to be talking about TINNITUS. Tinnitus is recognised as an internal, occasional or continuous ringing, in one or both ears, with different pitches.
So how on earth can the inner ear be affected by the transition through menopause? Well, it appears that Oestrogen underpins signalling from the ears to the brain, and the reduction in levels can be responsible in mixing-up in sounds that are being communicated between the two, leading to unwanted, inner ear noise. Often GP’s don’t relate the two and like many other menopause symptoms this can be misdiagnosed.
So, what kind of impact can Tinnitus have on our lives? Well, it can be reported that the ringing, roaring, buzzing that is heard becomes worse when trying to sleep. If you can imagine trying to settle down to sleep in a quiet room, the prevalence of the inner noise seems to increase. This can lead to not just an irritation but a real anxiety, leading to poor sleep and we know the impact of this and the knock-on effects this can cause.
In addition, there is the distress of having the hearing effected day to day, possibly in crowded, noisy rooms or meetings the Tinnitus can be exacerbated, and it then becomes impossible to interact. The long-term result of this can be avoidance of those situations where possible and before you know it socialising with friends and family can be dropped and important meetings avoided. Once again the effects that this has on our well-being can be huge and work may be affected as a result, not to mention missing out with the ones we love, leaving us feeling isolated.
So, what can be done to help? Well, fortunately menopausal Tinnitus can pass as it is not a condition in itself but a symptom of other health matters, in this case the change in Oestrogen. But it is good to know whilst it is an issue certain management techniques can be implemented so that you will notice the noise less than before. For example, there are a number of irritants, and these are listed as nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and loud noises, among others.
So, you may be asking how nicotine, alcohol and caffeine can affect it but these things increase blood pressure and can cause a greater blood flow to the ears by dilating the blood vessels, possibly worsening inner ear problems, like Tinnitus.
In regard to noises there is also benefit from suppressing the noise by turning on low-volume radio static, a fan, soft simulated sounds, humidifiers, and air conditioners as a distractor to the noise signals and this can bring a little relief.
Now, of course the other thing that is always on every list when we are looking at the reason for symptoms being exacerbated and then of course how we can manage them, is STRESS!! As I have described many times before, when we are in a stressed state we find ourselves in a constant fight or flight state, releasing Adrenaline and Cortisol, raising our blood pressure and increasing that inner ear blood flow, thus increasing the problem.
We all know that every opportunity to reduce stress in our lives is essential and this is no exception in helping to address this symptom, so of course this is where Hypnotherapy comes in…..I was amazed when I was told during my training that an inner ear issue can be alleviated through Hypnotherapy but of course, when you understand the physiology it all makes sense.
So, whilst hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is often the first line of action for those suffering from menopause Tinnitus, the symptom is possible to control with natural and effective approaches. Phytoestrogenic herbal supplements – like St. John’s wort or black cohosh can often fill in the Oestrogen deficiency that may be causing symptoms like this.
Of course, as we all know, in addition…….pursuing lifestyle changes that focus on an optimized diet rich in phytoestrogens, plant-based Oestrogens, for hormonal balance; regular exercise to boost mood; and wholesome habits consisting of those aforementioned can all help.
It is always best to consult your GP if you think that this is an issue for you. However, to really start moving productively towards those lifestyle changes that can improve this symptom, the Solution Focused Psychotherapy element of the sessions I provide can work towards achieving those goals. Then of course by introducing Hypnotherapy Trance, we are emptying that stress bucket and naturally reducing the symptom.
Why not book your FREE Initial Consultation today to find out how we can start taking those steps together.