Why Does My Tinnitus Get Worse When I’m Stressed?

Although tinnitus (or ringing / buzzing / whooshing / roaring in the ears) is often an underlying symptom of hearing loss, it can be exacerbated or even triggered by stress. A person’s reaction to tinnitus depends on how the autonomic nervous system responds to the sound itself. While many patients are able to ignore their tinnitus, for others it can cause significant stress, anxiety, and irritability when the brain subconsciously decides that the tinnitus is an “alarm”. Just like your body enters “fight or flight” mode when you encounter a genuine threat, tinnitus can trigger the same physical and emotional reaction. This makes it very difficult to concentrate or relax when you are stressed and have tinnitus.

One of the ways we attempt to combat this stress response is through relaxation exercises. Some patients report a reduction in the intrusiveness of their tinnitus with the use of these methods over time; including progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, mediation, and yoga. In addition, you may try a simple form of sound therapy: add calming sounds or white noise to your calming routines to help aid in relaxation. And of course, limiting the amount of caffeine consumed during the day and getting an adequate amount of sleep at night will also help in the long term.

For more information on tinnitus and tinnitus treatment options, contact our office to set up an individualized consultation to discuss what methods might be best for you!

WJCT Tinnitus Speaker Series

Identifying and Treating Tinnitus

Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute (JHBI) is excited to partner with WJCT to host a speaker series on Friday, March 23rd, on the diagnosis and management of tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.

The event will take place at WJCT studios at 100 Festival Park Ave, Jacksonville FL, 32202. While registration opens at 11:30 am, the main speaking event, which includes a presentation and a question and answer session, will run from 12:00 until 1:00 pm. Complimentary lunch will be provided.

Dr. Douglas Green Jr., the founder of JHBI and the practice’s neurotologist, will be speaking on the medical causes and subsequent diagnosis of tinnitus. Dr. Janelle Kelley, a clinical audiologist at JHBI, will be discussing the audiological evaluation of tinnitus and several management strategies ranging from at-home smart phone app usage to hearing aids.

Space is limited! If you are interested in attending, please RSVP by March 21st at 5pm by calling 904-358-6322 or visiting

Tinnitus Seminar

Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Tinnitus

Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute will be hosting an informational seminar about the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of tinnitus. Dr. J. Douglas Green and Janelle Kelley Au.D., CCC-A will be speaking. You will also get the chance to hear from individuals who live with tinnitus on a daily basis and the steps they have taken to manage their tinnitus.

Where: Southeast Regional Library, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd, Room A

When: Saturday, February 3, 2018

Time: 10:30am – 12:30pm

Seating is limited! Please RSVP by contacting Judy Martin by telephone at  (904) 778-2265 or email at We look forward to meeting all those in attendance.

Can listening with earbuds cause you to need hearing aids?

Everywhere you look people are walking around with earbuds in their ears listening to music or talking on the phone. Although extremely convenient, audiologists want to warn you of the potential hazards this can cause to your hearing. Some good tips on avoiding using earbuds today and having to wear hearing aids tomorrow.

  1. Be aware of the volume: It is recommended that the volume on devices that you are listening to should not exceed 60-80% of maximum volume. “The World Health Organization recommends at or below 60% of maximum volume.”
  2. Don’t listen for too long: Especially for kids it is recommended that earbuds should only be used no more than 1-2 hours a day. Excessive exposure can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (see our article on NIHL and ways to protect your hearing
  3. Protect your hearing you have now: It is recommended earplugs should be used whenever you are in a loud environment, such as a football game or enjoying your favorite music at a concert. This will protect your hearing you currently have as well as prevent NIHL.
  4. Tinnitus: We all have experienced that ringing you get once you leave a concert or loud and noisy environment. But if the tinnitus lasts much longer than you’re used to, it is wise to see an audiologist and discuss the tinnitus, as this can be a sign of noise-induced hearing loss.
  5. Get your hearing checked: Having a baseline hearing test is always a good idea. This will allow for comparison every time you get your hearing checked. Every few years is recommended to keep your hearing healthy.


If you believe you are at risk for noise induced hearing loss, make an appointment with your JHBI audiologist to discuss a custom hearing protection option that is suitable for your needs!

Tinnitus: What’s that sound?

Tinnitus is the perception of ringing or other sounds in your ears that have no external source. If you are someone who experiences tinnitus, just know that you are not alone. A 2011 study reported that approximately 30 million Americans report that they experience tinnitus and about 1 in 4 people from ages 65-84. Tinnitus is also the number one disability reported by veterans in the VA system.


Researchers continue to explore tinnitus, but the following are some possible causes of your tinnitus:

  1.  Hearing loss
  2.  Medications
  3.  Exposure to loud sounds
  4.  Blood pressure issues
  5.  While rare, a tumor on the hearing nerve can also cause tinnitus


Patients report a wide range of sounds (ringing, buzzing, etc.) and how loud they feel the tinnitus to be. Below are some signs that it may be time to visit Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute to be further evaluated

  1. Experiencing a “pulsing” sound or hearing your heartbeat
  2. Tinnitus associated with spells of dizziness
  3. Only hearing the tinnitus in one ear
  4.  If you feel the tinnitus is interfering with your ability to properly communicate or hear those closest to you.

Tinnitus and Hearing Loss

Many patients with tinnitus do not realize that they have hearing loss. They believe that it is the tinnitus itself that causes their communication difficulties. It is not until they make an appointment with their audiologist that they realize they have experienced a loss in hearing. For a lot of patients, addressing the hearing loss with hearing aids can help to provide some relief from the tinnitus. Many of today’s hearing aids have special tinnitus programs.

It is important to know that there is no proven cure for tinnitus. If you do wish to try a medication or supplement, be sure to speak with your physician first!

For more information on tinnitus, hearing loss and hearing aids visit or Or call us at 904-399-0350 to schedule an appointment today.