Blood Pressure Medication And Tinnitus: Are They Related? (2023)

  • Overview
  • What is high blood pressure?
  • What is tinnitus?
  • Ototoxic medications
  • Types of ototoxic blood pressure medications
  • Which blood pressure medications are ototoxic?
  • What other factors could cause tinnitus?
  • How tinnitus is diagnosed
  • What to do if you experience tinnitus
  • The lowdown

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, increases your risk of suffering many heart conditions. Because of the threat it poses, your doctor is likely to put you on medication to help reduce your blood pressure.

After beginning a new hypertension medication, some people experience ringing in the ears. This leads many to wonder whether blood pressure medications can cause tinnitus and, if so, which ones.

In this article, we'll answer those questions, as well as explain a little more about both conditions.

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What is high blood pressure?

Like any fluid, blood exerts pressure on the walls of blood vessels as it moves through the body. When the pressure exerted is within a normal range, the walls of your blood vessels remain safe and healthy.

However, when the pressure on the vessel walls gets too high, it can cause damage to them. This extra pressure can also damage important organs in the body and put you at higher risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

(Video) Can Blood Pressure Medication Cause Ringing in the Ears?

Along with diet and lifestyle changes, high blood pressure is often treated with medication.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is most commonly associated with a ringing in the ears. However, it can manifest itself in other sounds as well. Those who experience tinnitus may hear a roaring sound, hissing, clicks, or buzzes. Any perception of sound without a corresponding source indicates tinnitus. It's important to note that tinnitus itself is not a disease, but rather a symptom that something is wrong in your ear.

Ototoxic medications

Tinnitus can have several causes, among which are certain medications that can result in the condition. There are quite a few medicines associated with tinnitus. Any drugs that potentially cause tinnitus or other problems with the ear are called ototoxic medications.

However, the occurrence of tinnitus along with these drugs isn't common, so they are still prescribed for many conditions.

To examine whether or not blood pressure medications can cause tinnitus, it’s necessary to look for blood pressure medications among drugs known to be ototoxic.

Types of ototoxic blood pressure medications

Thankfully, scientists have conducted studies on which medications are ototoxic. From the list of drugs that show an adverse effects on the ear, we can narrow down the types of ototoxic blood pressure medications.


These drugs work to reduce blood pressure by reducing the heart rate, workload on the heart, and the heart's output. As the heart pumps less blood through the vessels, pressure is lowered.


This class of medicine lowers blood pressure by relaxing the walls of the blood vessels, thereby lowering their resistance and allowing blood to flow more freely. Because there's less resistance, less pressure is required to pump the blood.

ACE inhibitors

(Video) Is your Tinnitus Worse Because of your Blood Pressure?

Angiotensin is a chemical in your body that narrows your blood vessels. Narrow vessels with the same amount of blood running through them will experience higher pressure. ACE inhibitors tell your body to produce less angiotensin, thereby reducing the narrowing of your vessels and alleviating pressure.

Angiotensin receptor blockers

Angiotensin works by binding to a receptor in your body. Without a receptor to bind to, the chemical can't tell your body to narrow its vessels. Angiotensin receptor blockers prevent angiotensin from binding with the receptor. As the blood vessels become less narrow, pressure is reduced.

Which blood pressure medications are ototoxic?

We've noted above which classes of blood pressure medication are shown to be ototoxic. However, not every drug within those classes will have an effect on your ear or give you tinnitus. The specific drugs that are used to lower blood pressure and are also found to be ototoxic include:


Also known by the brand name Bystolic, nebivolol is a beta-adrenergic blocking agent.


This medicine, also referred to by its full name, bisoprolol fumarate, is a beta1-selective adrenoceptor blocking agent.


The drugmetoprolol is also a beta1-selective adrenoceptor blocking agent. It's used for treating high blood pressure as well as angina and heart failure.


An ACE inhibitor, ramipril can be used in the treatment of angina, heart failure, or diabetic kidney disease in addition to high blood pressure.


(Video) 5 Common Medications That Cause Tinnitus

This medicine is an angiotensin receptor blocker. Irbesartan is used in the treatment of high blood pressure and diabetic nephropathy.


An alpha1 adrenergic antagonist, doxazosin is used to treat high blood pressure and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

What other factors could cause tinnitus?

While the above drugs can cause tinnitus, they are not guaranteed to do so. This means that it's possible your tinnitus is being caused by something else, and its timing in relation to your new blood pressure medication is just a coincidence. Let's look at some other factors that may cause tinnitus:

High blood pressure

Because high blood pressure affects your blood vessels, and there are blood vessels in the ear, the condition itself can be a cause of tinnitus. If your blood pressure was caught early enough, it could explain the tinnitus occurring around the same time as you started your blood pressure medicine.

Loud noises

Inside of your ear is tiny sensory hairs that help transmit noise to the brain. Over time, exposure to high levels of noise can damage these hairs and result in tinnitus. This is one of the reasons it's important to wear hearing protection when working around loud sounds.

Sinus pressure

When you develop a cold, the flu, or an ear or sinus infection, the result can be an increase in pressure on the middle ear. As the infection runs its course, this increased pressure can cause tinnitus. Cold and flu drugs that relieve the pressure may help to reduce tinnitus symptoms.

Thyroid problems

Connections between thyroid problems and tinnitus have long been described. These problems include hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and autoimmune thyroiditis. Although there have been few in-depth studies, at least one¹has shown a direct correlation between hyperthyroidism and tinnitus.

Ménière's disease

(Video) Tinnitus, blood flow and the brain

Although the causes of the disease are unknown, Ménière's disease is an abnormality of the inner ear. It's believed to be the result of a change in the ear’s fluid volume. Tinnitus is often one of the early symptoms of the disease.

Kidney disease

Disease needn't be located near the ear to cause tinnitus. Another study² examined the correlation between chronic kidney disease and this condition. The results showed that those who have chronic kidney disease are over three times more likely to develop tinnitus than those who do not.

How tinnitus is diagnosed

Because tinnitus is a symptom and not a disease, it doesn't actually get diagnosed. But as a symptom, it can help your doctor discover that something is wrong with your ear.

If you've just been placed on a medication likely to cause tinnitus, such as the blood pressure medications listed above, your doctor may have you try a different medication and see if the problem resolves itself.

If the tinnitus doesn't go away, your doctor may further investigate the condition. This could include asking you additional questions about your health or checking to see if there is ear wax or other blockage in the ear.

If the doctor doesn't find anything, they may send you to an ear, nose, and throat specialist for further examination or testing. The specialist will examine your head, neck, and ears for signs that might indicate the cause of the tinnitus.

What to do if you experience tinnitus

Anytime you experience tinnitus that lasts for more than a little while, a doctor will be able to help you figure out the cause. Because tinnitus is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong with your ear, getting medical help for the problem is the best way to stay healthy. If you've been put on an ototoxic medication and find that it makes your ears ring, it is essential to let the doctor know so they can evaluate the condition and potentially try a different drug.

The lowdown

There are many different categories of drugs used to treat high blood pressure. While several of them are not associated with increased tinnitus risk, some are. If you've recently been prescribed one of these drugs, it is possible that the medication is causing the ringing in your ears.

Your doctor will be able to help you determine whether the medication is a factor, or if the timing is just coincidental.

Of course, when you notice any side effects from medication, such as tinnitus, you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

(Video) Safest BLOOD PRESSURE Medications in 2023


What blood pressure medications can cause tinnitus? ›

ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are medications used to lower blood pressure. But they may also cause ringing in the ears. These drugs typically end in “-il” (common examples are lisinopril, enalapril, and ramipril).

Is there a link between high blood pressure and tinnitus? ›

In people with high blood pressure, tinnitus is a commonly reported complaint. Research published in the NCBI found that 44.4% of people with tinnitus also had hypertension. The connection between the two conditions relates to the delicate network of vessels in your auditory system.

Which blood pressure medication is best for tinnitus? ›

I have done some research suggesting that angiotensin receptor blockers like losartan have a lower risk of tinnitus compared with other blood pressure drugs.

What medication makes tinnitus worse? ›

The list includes antibiotics, antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cancer drugs, diuretics, and high doses of aspirin. Usually the higher the dose, the greater your chance of problems. Often if you stop taking it, your symptoms will go away.

Does lowering blood pressure stop tinnitus? ›

If a health issue like high blood pressure is the cause, your doctor can work with you to treat it. Often the ringing will improve when you get the condition under control.

What medications should be avoided with tinnitus? ›

Analgesic drugs that may cause tinnitus include:
  • high dose aspirin.
  • acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
  • diclofenac (Voltaren)
  • naproxen (Aleve)
  • celecoxib (Celebrex)
  • mefenamic acid (Ponstel)
  • etoricoxib (Arcoxia)
May 6, 2022

What causes tinnitus to worsen? ›

Traffic, loud music, construction – all of these can worsen tinnitus. Be sure to wear earplugs or another type of ear protection in order to prevent noise from making your tinnitus worse. Many medications are ototoxic, meaning they cause temporary (or, in some cases, permanent) damage to your hearing.

How I healed my tinnitus? ›

Unfortunately, at present there is no cure for tinnitus. There is no pill, no diet, no surgery that can cure or reduce tinnitus. Many say that they can treat tinnitus, say that they have a treatment that can cure or reduce tinnitus, but so far there is no scientifically proven treatment against tinnitus.

What are secondary conditions to tinnitus? ›

Tinnitus is one of the most commonly claims conditions by veterans, and it can lead those affected to develop secondary conditions such as sleep disorders, anxiety, and migraines.

What would a doctor prescribe for tinnitus? ›

Medications for Tinnitus

For some, treatment with low doses of anti-anxiety drugs -- such as Valium or antidepressants such as Elavil -- help reduce tinnitus. The use of a steroid placed into the middle ear along with an anti-anxiety medicine called alprazolam has been shown to be effective for some people.

What is the new treatment for tinnitus 2022? ›

Electrical and Magnetic Stimulation of the Ear

A June 2022 study used electrical stimulation of the ear and showed a 79% improvement rate in tinnitus symptoms. There were no negative side effects. The treatment was non-invasive, meaning no surgery was required.

What is the best vitamin supplement for tinnitus? ›

Ginkgo Biloba

Gingko biloba is the most studied dietary supplement in tinnitus treatment. It is thought to improve tinnitus symptoms by increasing the blood circulation in the inner ear and brain, as well as protecting against free radicals.

Why has my tinnitus suddenly got louder? ›

Tinnitus is inextricably linked to the body's stress response, so periods of stress or anxiety in our lives can be responsible for amplifying tinnitus volume and creating a persistent spike.

What exercises help tinnitus? ›

Yoga is a great exercise for tinnitus sufferers because it incorporates meditative breathing and relaxation techniques along with a healthy workout.

Can tinnitus suddenly stop? ›

Is tinnitus permanent? Tinnitus is not a permanent condition, and in many cases, it will go away entirely by itself. For most people, tinnitus will disappear after a few weeks, or even a few days depending on the possible causes behind it.

What blood pressure med does not cause tinnitus? ›

Beta Blockers like Propranolol and Nebivolol (Bystolic) can rarely cause tinnitus. Propranolol is also used for anxiety disorders including performance anxiety. Loop Diuretics like Lasix can cause tinnitus, especially at higher doses. 6.

What are the top 5 conditions secondary to tinnitus? ›

Not only can tinnitus be a secondary condition that develops after service as a result of TBIs, hearing loss, head and neck trauma, etc., but it can also lead to other conditions such as depression, anxiety, migraines, and sleep apnea.

What is the most effective treatment for tinnitus? ›

Noise suppression

Devices include: White noise machines. These devices, which produce a sound similar to static, or environmental sounds such as falling rain or ocean waves, are often an effective treatment for tinnitus.

Is tinnitus in the ear or brain? ›

Although we hear tinnitus in our ears, its source is really in the networks of brain cells (what scientists call neural circuits) that make sense of the sounds our ears hear. A way to think about tinnitus is that it often begins in the ear, but it continues in the brain.

What happens if tinnitus goes untreated? ›

Untreated tinnitus can be incredibly dangerous to your overall wellbeing. Left without treatment, tinnitus can lead to depression, anxiety and social isolation. If you're concerned you may be suffering fro tinnitus, schedule an appointment with an audiologist in your area today.

Does tinnitus indicate brain damage? ›

Myth #2: Tinnitus means your brain is dying

No, tinnitus in itself does not mean your brain is dying. However, tinnitus is a symptom that many people with brain injuries experience. One study showed that roughly 76 percent of veterans with a traumatic brain injury also experienced tinnitus.

What is the fastest home remedy for tinnitus? ›

10 Tinnitus Remedies to Try at Home
  • Manage stress levels. ...
  • Quit smoking. ...
  • Take time to relax each day. ...
  • Reduce alcohol consumption. ...
  • Take time to relax each day. ...
  • Download a sound therapy app. ...
  • Mask the noise. ...
  • Try hearing protection products.

What helps tinnitus go away naturally? ›

The section below explores some lifestyle changes that can help reduce tinnitus.
  • Treating dysfunctions and obstructions. According to the American Tinnitus Association, most cases of tinnitus are caused by hearing loss. ...
  • Exercise. ...
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction. ...
  • DIY mindfulness meditation.

What natural remedy helps tinnitus? ›

Natural Remedies for Tinnitus
  • Ginkgo Biloba.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Zinc Supplements.
  • Biofeedback.
  • Frequently Asked Questions.
Dec 3, 2021

What is one of the most common causes of tinnitus? ›

Common causes of tinnitus
  • Hearing loss. There are tiny, delicate hair cells in your inner ear (cochlea) that move when your ear receives sound waves. ...
  • Ear infection or ear canal blockage. ...
  • Head or neck injuries. ...
  • Medications.
Nov 30, 2022

What vitamin deficiency is associated with tinnitus? ›

[23] Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause the demyelination of neurons in the cochlear nerve, resulting in hearing loss and tinnitus.

Can tinnitus be a symptom of something else? ›

Sometimes, tinnitus is a sign of high blood pressure, an allergy, or anemia. In rare cases, tinnitus is a sign of a serious problem such as a tumor or aneurysm. Other risk factors for tinnitus include temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), diabetes, thyroid problems, obesity, and head injury.

Do I need to see a neurologist for tinnitus? ›

Visit your primary care provider (PCP) and audiologist

if your tinnitus continues beyond a week, becomes bothersome, starts to interfere with your sleep and/or your concentration, or makes you depressed or anxious, seek medical attention from a trained healthcare professional.

Is there a pill to stop tinnitus? ›

There are no medications that have been shown to reverse the neural hyperactivity that is thought to cause tinnitus. Drugs cannot cure tinnitus, but they may provide relief from the negative distress caused by severe tinnitus.

Should I see a neurologist for tinnitus? ›

However, if you've experienced a constant ringing, static or buzzing sound for at least a week, you should contact a doctor to see if there is an underlying condition. Therefore, even if your tinnitus is bearable, don't hesitate to go to a doctor if your symptoms persist.

What can an audiologist do for tinnitus? ›

An audiologist can help you find and use the best hearing aid for you. Tinnitus maskers look like hearing aids. They make a sound that masks, or covers up, the tinnitus. The masking sound distracts you from the ringing in your ears.

Can CBD oil help tinnitus? ›

While research suggests that CBD has promising qualities, like alleviating pain and helping with anxiety, there's no scientific evidence that CBD or any other cannabis product can help with tinnitus. That said, CBD may help you deal with the side effects of constant ringing in your ears, like sleep troubles and stress.

Which antihistamine is best for tinnitus? ›

Medications can help reduce tinnitus symptoms caused by allergies.
Some types of antihistamines that have been used to treat tinnitus in people with allergies include:
  • chlorpheniramine.
  • meclizine.
  • terfenadine.
Jun 27, 2022

Can losartan cause ringing in the ears? ›

Change in sensation of taste. Cough. Sensation of ringing or other noise in the ears (tinnitus). Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).

Do statins cause tinnitus? ›

Background: Some patients cite tinnitus as a statin adverse effect (AE), often attending acknowledged statin AEs, but trends to tinnitus benefit have also been reported. Oxidative stress promotes tinnitus. Since statins have both antioxidant and prooxidant effects, tinnitus effects might depend on which predominate.

What blood pressure medications are not ototoxic? ›

Brand names of the common loop diuretics include Bumex, Edecrin, Lasix and Demadex. High blood pressure is often treated today with Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), which is not a loop diuretic and does not usually cause ototoxicity.

Can amlodipine make tinnitus worse? ›

Welcome to It is rare, but yes Amlodipine can cause tinnitus, and it is worthwhile to change it to other medications. The best alternative option is ARBs (Angiotensin II receptor blockers) like Telmisartan.


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