Causes and Contributing Factors of Tinnitus

Often, patients will ask us what caused their tinnitus, and while the exact cause of tinnitus is not always known, but some common causes include:

Exposure to loud noise

Exposure to loud noise, such as in a work environment or at a concert, can damage the inner ear and lead to tinnitus that is temporary or permanent. 

Age-related hearing loss

As people age, they may experience hearing loss, which can lead to tinnitus.

Earwax buildup

Excessive earwax can cause tinnitus.

Meniere's disease

Meniere's disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can cause tinnitus, along with vertigo and hearing loss.


Many medications, such as aspirin, can cause tinnitus as a side effect. Before ceasing or altering your dosage of any medication, it is important to consult with the physician that prescribed it to you.

Head or neck injuries/concussions

Injuries to the head or neck can cause tinnitus. In our practice, we have seen many patients experience tinnitus, auditory processing issues, and balance issues as a result of concussions and head injuries.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure can cause tinnitus and is something to consult with a physician about.

Stress, anxiety, and fatigue

Stress, anxiety, and fatigue can not only cause tinnitus, but also exacerbate it.

Dietary factors

Salt, sugar, caffeine, and sometimes alcohol can cause or exacerbate tinnitus.

Through testing and discussion, an audiologist or physician can help you determine which of the above factors are causing or exacerbating your tinnitus and then help you to put a plan in place to alleviate the symptoms.

If tinnitus is affecting your quality of life, the first step to do is make an appointment for a tinnitus evaluation. We have a long history of helping people manage their tinnitus and they are some of our most rewarding success stories.

By Alexandra Taylor, Au.D.