Menopause Tinnitus: Causes, Symptoms and Remedies

Last updated 07.01.2024 | by Sabrina Johnson | 8 Minutes Read

This article has been reviewed and fact checked by Dr. Karen Pike, a senior physician administrator and board-certified emergency room doctor actively working in northern California. Read more at our medical disclaimer page.

A few years back, when I entered perimenopause, I was affected by tinnitus (a condition that causes ringing in the ears, though there’s no external sound).

My first thought was, wait, wasn’t menopause supposed to be about hot flashes, night sweats and forgetfulness? Why is there a ringing in my ears which feels like a personal disco party happening solely inside my head?

After my research, I found out that tinnitus, that unwelcome phantom sound which only I can hear, is surprisingly a common symptom of menopause.

There are many women out there who experience this life transition with constant hum or hiss of tinnitus.

But there’s no need to panic. Tinnitus, while bothersome, does not have to be a life-altering condition.

In this article, I will discuss tinnitus, its connection with menopause, diagnosis, and management strategies so you can be aware and take the necessary steps beforehand.

So, let’s dive into the world of menopause tinnitus!

Understanding Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a sound heard when no external source is present. For me, it’s a constant high-pitched ringing like a never-ending mosquito buzzing right next to my eardrum. 

This condition can manifest in many ways. A few hear roaring, clicking, hissing, or even a whole orchestra in their heads. 

Research shows that tinnitus affects an estimated 10 to 25% of adults in the United States [1].

While tinnitus itself isn’t life-threatening, it can be incredibly frustrating and disruptive, impacting sleep, concentration, and overall well-being.

Tinnitus can be unilateral or bilateral, which means it can affect one ear or both. The volume fluctuates and depends on the severity of the condition. Sometimes, it is barely noticeable and other times, it is a roaring symphony. 

Imagine trying to fall asleep when there is a constant screaming sound in your head. 

The frustrating thing about tinnitus is that it’s a symptom, not a disease itself. There’s no single cause, and doctors often struggle to identify the exact one. Some common triggers include:

Ear injury: Loud noises like explosions or prolonged exposure to loud music can damage the delicate hair cells in the inner ear, leading to the perception of sound.

Hearing loss: Tinnitus often goes hand-in-hand with hearing loss, especially age-related hearing loss.

Medications: Certain medications, like some antibiotics and aspirin in high doses, can have tinnitus as a side effect.

These are just a few possibilities, but the condition can also occur due to other reasons. And sometimes, there’s no clear cause at all.

The Link Between Menopause and Tinnitus

Well, there are intriguing theories regarding the connection between menopause and tinnitus, but there’s no definitive answer.

However, it cannot be denied that there is some link between the two, and a significant percentage of women experience tinnitus during menopause.

What are the causes? How are they connected?

Let’s know what causes menopause tinnitus:


You will be surprised to know that the hormone responsible for regulating our menstrual cycles also has an important role in our hearing function. Our ears have estrogen receptors throughout the auditory system [2]. So, when estrogen levels drop during menopause, it might disrupt the delicate balance in our inner ears, leading to tinnitus.

When estrogen dips, these delicate systems could malfunction, creating the perception of phantom noises: tinnitus.

Other Hormones

During menopause, progesterone and testosterone levels also fluctuate. While research is ongoing, some experts theorize that these hormonal shifts might also contribute to tinnitus.


Age is also a common factor. As we age, our hearing worsens, right? It either starts around the age of 50 or 60, which is around the time when women hit menopause. So, tinnitus can also occur due to age-related hearing loss.

Additional Causes

While hormonal changes are the primary cause, there are other contributing factors during menopause that worsen tinnitus. Anxiety and stress, which are common symptoms of menopause, can make tinnitus seem louder and more bothersome [3].

Sleep disturbances can also heighten the perception of tinnitus.

When I started experiencing tinnitus around the time of menopause, it was like constant low-grade anxiety living in my head. The ringing wasn’t deafening, but it was persistent, making it hard to concentrate and relax. It felt like another unwelcome addition to the already fun list of menopausal symptoms.

Many women experience tinnitus during menopause. Understanding the link will help you to find various methods to manage the condition.

Diagnosing Tinnitus During Menopause

Although tinnitus isn’t life-threatening, a proper diagnosis is necessary. Diagnosis can help rule out other issues, find the root cause, and provide peace of mind.

Tinnitus can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, like earwax buildup, ear infections, or even Meniere’s disease [4]. A doctor can rule out these possibilities and ensure there’s no other reason behind the ringing.

For women, menopause can be a cause for tinnitus; however, depending on individual situations, there might also be other factors.

During my doctor’s appointment, she asked detailed questions about my medical history, when the tinnitus started, and the nature of the sounds. Then came the physical examinations.

They include otoscopy and hearing tests; doctors might also recommend additional tests depending on the specific situation.

Management Strategies for Menopause Tinnitus

Let’s dive straight into some effective management strategies specifically for menopause tinnitus:

Underlying Issues

The first step is to address any underlying issues that might be contributing to your tinnitus during menopause. This could include:

  • Earwax Buildup: A simple earwax removal by a doctor can sometimes make a world of difference.
  • Hearing Loss: If you have hearing loss alongside tinnitus, addressing it with hearing aids can sometimes reduce the perception of tinnitus.

Lifestyle Changes

Making some lifestyle changes can significantly improve your experience with tinnitus, especially during menopause:

  • Stress Management: Learning stress management techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can help reduce overall stress and potentially lessen the impact of tinnitus during menopause.
  • Sleep Hygiene: Sleep disturbances are a common complaint during menopause and can worsen tinnitus perception. Focusing on good sleep hygiene can improve sleep quality and reduce tinnitus.
  • Healthy Diet: While there’s no magic food that cures tinnitus, some studies suggest that a healthy diet rich in certain nutrients, such as vitamin B12, magnesium, and potassium, might be beneficial.

Sound Therapy

Sound therapy involves using external sounds to mask or distract you from the tinnitus. There are two main approaches:

  • White Noise Machines or Nature Sounds: Using white noise machines or apps with calming nature sounds can create a background noise that masks the tinnitus, making it less noticeable.
  • Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT): This therapy involves using specialized sounds delivered through headphones to gradually desensitize your brain to the tinnitus.

I found using a white noise machine at night to be a lifesaver. It provided a soothing background hum that masked the tinnitus and helped me fall asleep faster.


I’m experiencing tinnitus during menopause. Is it a cause for concern?

Tinnitus itself isn’t life-threatening. However, it’s important to consult a doctor to get a proper diagnosis. This helps rule out any underlying medical conditions that might be contributing to the tinnitus.

Additionally, a doctor can assess the severity of your tinnitus and recommend personalized management strategies.

Can HRT help with menopause tinnitus?

The research on HRT and tinnitus is inconclusive. Some studies suggest potential benefits, while others show no significant impact or even a slight increase in tinnitus.

If you’re considering HRT, discuss this with your doctor in the context of your specific situation and tinnitus experience. There’s no guarantee HRT will improve your tinnitus, but it can be a valuable tool for managing other menopausal symptoms.

Is there anything I can do to prevent tinnitus during menopause?

While there’s no guaranteed way to prevent tinnitus, certain lifestyle choices can promote overall ear health and potentially reduce the risk:
Protect Your Ears from Loud Noises: Limit exposure to loud noises, such as concerts or using headphones at high volumes.
Manage Stress: Chronic stress can worsen tinnitus perception. Explore stress-reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing.
Maintain a Healthy Diet: A diet rich in certain nutrients like vitamin B12, magnesium, and potassium might be beneficial for overall ear health.
Regular Doctor Visits: Schedule regular checkups with your doctor to monitor your hearing health and address any potential issues early on.


There are millions of women navigating menopause tinnitus. It can be a frustrating and disruptive condition tormenting you along with other symptoms of menopause.

However, you can regain some peace and quiet by following various management strategies and maintaining open communication with your doctor.

Remember, you’re not alone in this. With the right approach, you can find ways to manage tinnitus. I hope this article was helpful!


  • Sabrina Johnson

    Meet Sabrina Johnson, a compassionate author and a seasoned expert in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a driving force behind Simply Menopause, where her extensive medical knowledge and empathetic nature come together to empower women in their menopausal journey. Sabrina offers culturally sensitive guidance and support through her approachable writing, making her a trusted friend on the path to menopause wellness.

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