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Ringing Ears (Tinnitus) after Hysterectomy

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List

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Ringing Ears after hysterectomyAbout 3 weeks after my hysterectomy, I started having horrible ringing in my ears. Has anyone else experienced this problem? My gynecologist says it's not a menopausal symptom and I should go see my Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor.


Ringing ears, otherwise known as tinnitus, can be the result of many different conditions which are unrelated to a hysterectomy or menopause. However, many women, physicians, and researchers believe that more research regarding a possible connection between hormones and tinnitus is needed.

Many HysterSisters have reported that it was their hysterectomy and/or the onset of menopause that seemed to trigger their ringing ears. Though medical literature at this time does not support the connection, looking at the various causes of tinnitus can offer some possible explanations.

Medications:
The connection might be the use of high doses of anti-inflammatories in conjunction with your surgery. Antibiotics can be given routinely during and after a hysterectomy, and some of them may cause tinnitus. All the issues surrounding a hysterectomy can lead to women using sedatives and/or antidepressants, some of which could cause ringing in your ears. If your hysterectomy was for cancer, certain chemotherapy medications may cause your ears to ring. Diuretics may also be the culprit. For medication induced tinnitus, stopping the drug can eliminate the noise, but work with your doctor before doing so.

Circulatory System:
Women may experience changes in blood pressure and pulse rates following their hysterectomy or the onset of menopause. Both high and low pressure can lead to tinnitus. It can also be triggered by anemia. Treatment could include stabilizing your blood pressure and pulse rate, and increasing your hemoglobin. All these could also lead to pulsatile tinnitus, the phenomena of hearing your heartbeat. This type of tinnitus can indicate blood vessel damage, so it is important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing it, especially following surgery.

Trauma to the head or neck:
Positioning during surgery could lead to some neck or head trauma which can trigger tinnitus. Your position during recovery may also play a role as you may cause some misalignment from extra resting and reclining in unusual positions to try to be comfortable and protect your healing body. Your physician or chiropractor could help determine if there is a injury or trauma to your head and/or neck that should be addressed.

Systemic disorders:
Diabetes, thyroid issues, and hormonal changes may lead to some tinnitus. Each of these issues could occur as part of menopause. Your doctor would need to run tests, maybe even just some blood work, to determine if you are dealing with any of them. If any of these is a concern, treating it could cause the ringing in your ears to stop.

Other:
There are a number of other reasons for tinnitus—age-related hearing loss, exposure to loud noises, earwax blockage, changes in the ear bones, acoustic neuroma, and various ear disorders. Treatment will depend on the cause and extensiveness of each condition.

Tinnitus is bothersome but usually does not indicate a serious health concern. Treating the cause of tinnitus can be helpful, while at other times learning to mask the ringing with white noise is the key. You should work with your doctor regarding the possible causes of tinnitus, and you should seek second opinions as needed. Seeing an ENT is an option, and your general practitioner may be able to help as well.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

08-29-2013 - 10:46 AM


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