Everything You Need to Know About Post Concussion Tinnitus

Post Concussion Tinnitus

Have you recently had a concussion? Do you hear a ringing noise coming from inside the ears? Post-traumatic tinnitus is one of the most common symptoms following a concussion, caused by inner ear damage. The ringing noise is present in either one or both ears, which is sometimes described as a hissing, pulsing, or buzzing sound.

Tinnitus treatment depends on the core of the problem. In some cases, surgery is the best solution for eliminating this symptom. When surgery is not possible, behavioral therapy, exercise, and sound-masking devices aid the treatment. The major role of post concussion tinnitus treatment is to reduce the intensity of the ringing noise in the ears.

Here is everything you need to know about this post-concussion symptom.


Post-concussion tinnitus can be induced by a variety of causes, most of which are triggered by the trauma. Ossicular chain disruption is among the most common causes, indicating misalignment of the three bones in the middle ear; hammer, anvil, and stirrup. The hammer is closely attached to the eardrum, whereas the anvil takes up the central position in the chain. The stirrup establishes a connection between the middle and inner ear.

The role of the ossicular chain is to ensure sounds reach the cochlea, located in the inner ear. In the event of a concussion, these three bones are no longer aligned as before. Once a chain disruption takes place, individuals are at risk of experiencing ringing in the ears. Somatic tinnitus refers to the ringing in the ears that happens due to bone damage.

Moreover, somatic tinnitus is also likely to occur because of the temporomandibular joint disorder, referring to the damage done to the temporomandibular joint. This joint is of crucial importance for humans owing to its role in connecting the lower jaw to the skull. It’s largely connected to the middle ear due to the nerve connections they share. Hence, any damage that occurs to the temporomandibular joint affects the middle ear as well, manifested like tinnitus.

Post Concussion Tinnitus

In addition, people suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder experience restrictions in jaw movement, discomfort in the jaw area, chewing difficulties, etc. When tinnitus is caused by the TMJ disorder, it’s usually eliminated with the treatment for the temporomandibular joint dysfunction. The moment your TMJ joint restores its previous function, tinnitus is eliminated as well. Read here about the types of temporomandibular joint disorders.

Another more serious cause of post-concussion tinnitus is labyrinthine concussion. In such scenarios, people experience ringing in the ears not because of the fractures that resulted from the injury but due to the severe damage inflicted to the inner ear. The force of head injuries is powerful enough not only to damage but also to destroy the cochlea. In the event of a labyrinthine concussion, tinnitus is just an accompanying symptom of hearing loss.

Meniere’s syndrome is yet another common cause of post-traumatic ringing in the ears, triggered by an increase of pressure inside the inner ear. The presence of abnormal pressure is responsible for the fluid movements within it. As a result, people not only face hearing difficulties but balance problems as well. One of the symptoms individuals experience as a result of Meniere’s syndrome is tinnitus, which can only be treated with medications.

Such a ringing noise is a common symptom of sensorineural hearing loss, referring to the deterioration of the hair cells found within the inner ear. Although tiny in size, these cells play a vital role in the transfer of sounds by helping them reach the auditory nerve. Once the hair cells experience deterioration, the brain tends to process sounds differently. The loss of some frequencies is believed to force the brain to fill them in with tinnitus.

Post Concussion TinnitusOther symptoms of post-concussion syndrome

Following a concussion, people have a tendency to experience both physical and emotional symptoms, as well as some changes in their behavior. Besides a ringing sensation, individuals might be subjected to vertigo, dizziness, and nausea as part of the vestibular symptoms. Additionally, many people cope with vision problems after a concussion, such as blurred vision and insufficient focus.

Furthermore, headaches are another common symptom of post-concussion syndrome along with hypersensitivity to light and noises. Also, individuals are likely to experience sleeping difficulties, cognitive difficulties, fatigue, etc. Some people come with psychological symptoms like stress intolerance, mood swings, personality changes, and apathy.


The only way for tinnitus to get treated is by treating the cause of the issue when possible. In some cases, such as in people suffering from ossicular chain disruption, surgery is the best solution for resolving the issue. Nevertheless, in other situations, there’s nothing to be done when it comes to curing it, except for finding a good way to manage the symptoms.

Sound-masking devices are a popular solution for reducing the ringing sensation. These tiny devices fit inside the ear, providing different types of pleasant noises that mask the ringing sound. For example, sound-masking devices produce nature sounds, white noise, pink noise, etc. The intensity of the masking sounds can be chosen by the user, as some people want these sounds to be a little louder than the ringing noise, whereas others prefer using much louder noises in order not to hear any ringing at all.

Besides sound-masking devices, tinnitus can be treated with behavioral therapy. Due to emotional stress people go through when suffering from this symptom, having a conversation with a therapist can help you accept the omnipresent ringing or roaring sound. It’s paramount to learn how not to allow tinnitus from irritating you to a point you cannot function normally.

Another method of coping with this annoying symptom after experiencing a concussion is regular exercise. Being physically active is considered to improve sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, which are common in people suffering from tinnitus.

Final word

After a concussion, consulting a hearing specialist is essential in checking the presence of this annoying symptom.

Waste no time to schedule an appointment!



South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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