Ear Infection Cause Tinnitus: Symptoms & Treatments

can an ear infection cause tinnitus, can ear infection cause tinnitus, can ear infections cause tinnitus, can infection cause tinnitus, can you get tinnitus from an ear infection, do ear infections cause tinnitus, does ear infection cause tinnitus, ear infection and tinnitus, ear infection cause tinnitus

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Table Of Contents

Isn’t it troubling when you’re the only person in a room hearing a faint buzz or a high-pitched ringing, that’s consistent and disruptive in silence? Welcome to the world of tinnitus, a symptom rather than a disease, that has made its presence known in about 10-15% of adults according to the American Tinnitus Association. Among the varied causes of tinnitus, one potential contributor that we’ll explore herein with emphasis is ear infections.

Can an Ear Infection Cause Tinnitus?

Yes, an ear infection can be a potential trigger for tinnitus. Ear infections may culminate in all three regions of the ear – outer, middle, and inner. Although common among children, adults are not immune to them either. Stanford Health Care refers to ear infections as a common cause of temporary but distressing tinnitus. A bacterial or viral attack in your ear can often lead to inflammation and fluid buildup, obstructing the regular transmission of sound signals to the brain. This can result in the brain generating its sounds, what we know as tinnitus.

In fact, a study published in the International Tinnitus Journal established that 85% of their tinnitus patients had previously suffered from otitis media, an infection of the middle ear. Which leads us to our next point of discussion: the unmistakable correlation between middle ear infections and tinnitus.

Middle Ear Infection and Tinnitus

Middle ear infections, also known as otitis media, can be a potential hazard for tinnitus. Generally due to a bacterial or viral attack, this condition results in an inflammation and fluid buildup behind the eardrum, causing discomfort and temporary hearing loss. If not treated promptly, it can potentially damage the tiny bones of the middle ear, leading to a progression in the severity of tinnitus.

As described in the blog post “Middle Ear Infection and Tinnitus” on our website, understanding the lines connecting middle ear infections and tinnitus can help in more effective decision-making regarding your treatment options. The nature of the impact of ear infections on tinnitus, especially in terms of its duration and severity, is helpful to know, facilitating the management and potentially paving the way towards the reduction of the distressing sounds.

Outer Ear Infection and Tinnitus

Continuing our journey to understanding the connection between ear infections and tinnitus, let’s take a step further and delve deeper into the part of your ear that welcomes the world: the outer ear. Any infection in this area, also known as otitis externa or swimmer’s ear, can also be a potential catalyst for triggering tinnitus. For instance, excessive moisture or scratches in the ear canal can make way for bacteria or fungi, leading to painful inflammations and, quite possibly, the unwelcome sound of tinnitus.

But the key question is, how can an infection on the external part of the ear influence the acoustic signals in your brain? Well, while outer ear infections do not directly impact the auditory nerves, the pain and inflammation contributing to generalized discomfort can exacerbate the symptoms of existing tinnitus or pave the way for new onset in susceptible individuals. To delve into case studies that highlight this connection, check out our intricate blog post “Can Ear Infections Cause Tinnitus”.

Inner Ear Infection and Tinnitus

Taking a deeper dive into the labyrinth of the ear, we encounter the inner ear. Home to the cochlea and the nerves that carry sound to the brain, the inner ear serves as a crucial junction in the hearing process. Therefore, it stands to reason that an infection in this region has high odds of leading to tinnitus.

Viral infections, more common than bacterial, can lead to inflammation in the inner ear, which disrupts the pathway of sound signals. In its efforts to compensate for these missing signals, the brain might generate phantom sounds, a.k.a. tinnitus. The blog post “Inner Ear Infection and Tinnitus” on our website delves into this topic more vividly.

Tinnitus After Ear Infection: Duration and Possible Outcomes

While treating an ear infection might eliminate the immediate cause of tinnitus, does this guarantee an end to the incessant ringing or buzzing post-recovery? Unfortunately, not always. Even after the resolution of an ear infection, tinnitus can persist, making it a confusing and distressing condition.

The duration of post-infection tinnitus largely depends on the severity of the infection and the individual’s overall health status. In some instances, tinnitus resolves spontaneously after a few weeks, while in other cases, it lingers on, necessitating further treatment. A comprehensive discussion on this topic, including treatment options and coping mechanisms, can be found in our blog post “Tinnitus After Ear Infection”.

Ear Infection Tinnitus Hearing Loss: An Analogy

While ringing in the ears might seem like a minor nuisance, persistent or recurring tinnitus may have deeper implications, especially in association with hearing loss. There’s an unmistakable link between these conditions, which becomes more evident when examining connections with ear infections.

Recurrent or untreated ear infections can cause damage to the middle and inner ear structures, leading to temporary or even permanent hearing loss. Besides, the tinnitus you experience might be a reflection of this hearing loss. The continuous or intermittent ringing, buzzing, or humming can indicate the frequencies at which your hearing ability has lessened or lost.

In the blog post, “Tinnitus and Hearing Loss”, we’ve extended this discussion, detailing where the loss in hearing intersects with tinnitus and how it can shed further light on handling these conditions.

How to Manage Tinnitus Caused by Ear Infection

If you’re dealing with tinnitus arising from an ear infection, it’s crucial to know that there are ways to manage this condition and bring back some semblance of normalcy to your life. A combination of medical treatments, lifestyle adjustments, and self-care practices can be helpful in attenuating the influence of tinnitus in your daily routines.

From white noise machines to meditation techniques suitable for you, there are various pathways to explore. More specific suggestions, such as seeking help from the best doctor for tinnitus, can be tailored based on your unique symptoms, severity, and personal preferences. Check our blog for actionable advice and practical tips to deal with tinnitus.

Medical Treatments

Medical intervention forms a sizeable chunk of tinnitus management strategies. These can range from treating the underlying ear infection with antibiotics or antiviral medications to prescribing drugs that help alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus.

Although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all ‘cure’ for tinnitus, having an array of options can increase the likelihood of finding a treatment that works for you. Therapeutic noise generators, hearing aids, and even specific tinnitus retaining therapies have been employed to greatness depending on the nature and extent of the symptoms.

For an extensive coverage of the potential medical treatments for tinnitus, you might want to visit American Tinnitus Foundation‘s site. Notably, in one of our own blog posts titled “American Tinnitus Foundation”, we have characterized some of the groundbreaking works in the tinnitus research landscape that are reshaping the treatment approaches.

Self-Care Measures

We’re sure you’ll agree with us when we say that living with the relentless sound of tinnitus can have a deeper impact than what meets the ear – pun intended! From inducing stress to disrupting your peace of mind, its invisible yet potent influence can weave its way into every corner of your life.

But here’s something to mull over: what if there exist simple, DIY ways to make a tangible difference in this battle of the buzz? From incorporating low-level background noise to practicing mindfulness exercises such as deep breathing and yoga, quite a lot can be within your grasp in this journey towards silence.

Agreed, while the persistent sound may not pack its bags and leave overnight, these practices, if followed consistently, can gradually reduce its severity, maybe even helping your brain tune it out. If this sparks your curiosity, why not take a step beyond and venture into our blog post “Does Tinnitus Go Away”, for a more comprehensive range of practical strategies to find your relief from tinnitus?


As we wrap up this in-depth discussion on ear infections culminating in tinnitus, it is essential to note the importance of understanding the causes, implications, and possible treatments. In an era where everyday noise pollution is more the rule than the exception, the prevalence of ear infections and the resultant repercussions like tinnitus are bound to rise.

However, knowledge is power. Having a comprehensive understanding of tinnitus, its connection with ear infections, and ways to manage it can empower you to navigate this journey with confidence. Plus, with organizations such as the World Health Organization focusing on global hearing health, we are in an age with effective treatments, advanced research, and continuous advancements in this field.

The information we’ve delved into today, we hope, has given you a deeper insight into tinnitus, and more importantly, has opened up avenues of hope and potential relief from tinnitus triggered by ear infections. As with any health issue, professional advice and treatment are of paramount importance. After all, every ‘ear’ is unique, and every solution to drown the tinnitus drone might look different for each person!

Ear Infection Cause Tinnitus - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes, infections in any part of the ear – outer, middle, and inner – can potentially trigger tinnitus. The inflammation and fluid buildup resulting from infections disrupt the normal transmission of sound signals to the brain, leading to the perception of phantom sounds, characterizing tinnitus.

The duration of tinnitus following an ear infection can range from a few weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the infection and the individual’s overall health status. In some cases, tinnitus might even persist, necessitating further treatment.

Yes, tinnitus triggered by ear infections can be treated. The first step is treating the underlying ear infection, usually with antibiotics or antiviral medications. Beyond this, various treatment options exist – from therapeutic noise generators and hearing aids to tinnitus retaining therapies – that can help manage tinnitus.

While ear infections do contribute to tinnitus, it is usually temporary, subsiding as the infection clears. However, if not treated promptly or in the event of recurrent infections, the damage can be significant enough to cause permanent tinnitus.

Definitely, there are several self-care strategies that can help manage tinnitus. These include incorporating low-level background noise, practicing relaxation exercises like deep breathing, and following a healthy lifestyle. Our blog post ‘Does Tinnitus Go Away’ provides more such practical tips.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

You May Also Like

About the Author: Tinnitus Treatments

Claim Your Free Report And Audiobook


If left untreated, tinnitus can control your mood, sleep, mental stability, & your life as a whole, BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO!

  • Silencing Tinnitus teaches you how to empower yourself with battle-tested techniques to silence tinnitus & experience true freedom!
  • Unlock the secrets inside “Silencing Tinnitus” & regain control to a quieter mind & a clearer soundscape.

Fill out your information below to claim your FREE copy of “Silencing Tinnitus”, & once and for all eradicate the buzz & reclaim your peaceful silence!

Fill Out Your Name & Email Address Below To Get Your FREE Report & Audiobook "Silencing Tinnitus"!