Can alcohol cause tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Davidoc, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. Can drinking cause tinnitus? I have very mild tinnitus. I can only notice the ringing when I'm in a room that's dead quiet, and I'd like to keep it that way. Listening to music loudly, especially with long exposure will cause one's ears to ring loudly afterwards. Concerts, band rehersals etc are great at doing this when no hearing protection is worn. Listening to music loudly or using firearms without ear protection will also cause this, as will any exposure to loud noise for a period of time. From what I've read, this temporary loud ringing is a sign of permanent damage, and will contribute to tinnitus.

    Here's where I'm going with this: Lately I've noticed this type of post-loud-noise ringing when I've been drinking. It's not as loud as the ringing after playing at or attending a show, but it's definitely noticible, and I assume that this also means that permanent damage is being done. Does anyone else notice this? Have there been any studies linking alcohol consumption with tinnitus?
  2. I don't know the real answer, but my thoughts are that alcohol probably doesn't cause it, but can contribute, in the way that after a few drinks your judgment can be weakened so you might not have as much of a problem with prolonged loud noises...
  3. But then again, I just found this

    And then further down the page i found this

    so i am guessing that alcohol isn't a direct cause, but can certainly make it worse for a little bit...
  4. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005

  5. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Alcohol can aggravate your tinnitus, as can aspirin.
  6. Hmmm. Both have blood thinning properties (why alcohol makes you dizzy and why aspirin is often given to people with angina, if anyone was wondering), so maybe its the thinning of the blood around the ears that triggers something.
  7. Maybe I'm not reading it right, but does alcohol cause permanent damage, or does it temporarily just raise the ringing?

    I'm in a similar situation: I have mild tinnitus and the ringing is worse when I drink. The ringing goes away, but if its causing permamnet damage, I may need to rethink what I do in the future.
  8. alcohol only aggravates the doesn't appear to cause permanent damage.
  9. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Yes, the way I understood it from class is that if tinnitius is a pre-existing condition, alcohol will lower the threshold at which the ringing occurred, as if it were making you more sensitive to it.

    I don't think alcohol by itself will cause tinnitus.
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