Stress and Tinnitus

Can you be involved with a research study?

Tinnitus and stress Stress is known to have an impact on health, and is linked to tinnitus. For example, people who have more severe tinnitus report a higher level of stress and more stress symptoms than those who had milder tinnitus. Some people also link the start of their tinnitus with the occurrence of a stressful event. But it is not clear whether tinnitus acts as a stressor, or stress leads to or makes tinnitus worse. At the NIHR Nottingham BRC (University of Nottingham), PhD student Asma Elarbed is conducting research to answer this question. She is measuring “cortisol” which is an important human hormone that is released by the “adrenal gland” in response to stress. She is comparing the level of cortisol (from hair sample) in people who have tinnitus with those who do not have tinnitus, and before and after tinnitus starts. This will tell us more about the biology of tinnitus. She is also looking at issues that relate to stress and tinnitus, namely depression, anxiety, memory, and attention, to determine how all these factors relate to each other. If you would like to participate or to know more, contact Asma Elarbed at this email:

Wellbeing Walks

In conjunction with Walking for Health we are organising a series of Wellbeing Walks.  The walks will last 30 – 90 minutes and are suitable for most walking abilities. 

Look out for our next wellbeing walk coming soon

The walks are open for anyone who needs to walk for health and not just people diagnosed with Tinnitus.   The Walks are a great way to meet new people, have a chat, laugh and help to get fit.     Sponsored by the Community Fund.

Coffee and Chat

Join us for a Coffee and Chat at Monkey Park Community Cafe, 128a Chester Street, Brampton, Chesterfield, S40 1DN on Monday 6th April 2020 from 1pm – 3pm

The Cafe is not open to the public and so if you have recently been diagnosed with Tinnitus or suffering from ringing in the ears or head, this is a great meeting to come along meet our members, in a relaxed and friendly environment.  There will be an opportunity to ask questions, share experiences or concerns as well as chat to people who understand the condition.  Please feel free to bring along a partner, relative or friend.  Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served.    Parking is on the road.


The Poetry Buzz

Thanks to money from Five Ways to Wellbeing we were able to introduce our Poetry Buzz workshops.  These were fun and interactive and everyone was brave enough to share their work and supportive and encouraging to each other.  Many were surprised at their poetic achievements.  The project won most innovative project at the Voluntary Sector Awards in 2018

Thanks to Derbyshire Voluntary Action – Small Grants Scheme  we were able to secure money to continue these workshops.

We meet every month at Loundsley Green Community Centre, Cuttholme Road, Loundsley Green, Chesterfield S40 4QU from 1.45pm – 4.00pm.

The themes this year relate to our memories

Poetry written by our members

February  – Wednesday 26th  – A stitch in Time

March  – Wednesday 25th – Food Glorious Food

April – Wednesday 29th- Sugar and Spice

May/June – Wednesday 3rd June – Buses, Trains and Automobilies

July – Wednesday 22nd  – Rummage in the Toy Box

August – Wednesday 26th – On the Screen

September – Wednesday 30th – All dolled up

October – Wednesday 28th – Keeping it Clean

November – Wednesday 25th – Christmas Past

The feedback was all very positive.

The following question was asked “Three words that sum up how the Poetry Buzz has made you feel”

“Happy, Uplifted, Relaxed”

“Inspired, Happy, Joyful”

“Positive, Fun, Encouraged.”

Wellbeing Workshops

Our Wellbeing Workshops will begin again in September.

Understanding tinnitus and the perception of tinnitus is important in helping people to learn how to manage the condition. Within our Tinnitus Wellbeing Workshops we promote understanding of the mechanisms of tinnitus in a way that is easy to comprehend.   Peer support is important and the workshops provide this in a relaxed atmosphere. We have developed a range of support techniques and strategies that will help people to manage stress, not only to tinnitus but also other situations in life .

The Tinnitus Wellbeing Workshops run as a set of 4 which will take place at Loundsley Green Community Centre, Cuttholme Road, Loundsley Green, Chesterfield S40 4QU from 1.30pm – 4.00pm dates for 2020 to be confirmed.  However, if you are interested please give us a call so we can put you on the list for 2020.

The workshops will be for a small group of people, they are really interactive and friendly allowing everyone to share their experiences, ask questions and learn from each other.

If you would like more information about the workshops or how to find the venue please contact Joanne on or telephone on 01246 380415

Feedback from our workshops

“As a result of the workshops I have made changes and communicated better with the family and in social situations”

“The course has made me think about how Tinnitus has affected me.”

Soup and Socials at the Badger

Wednesday 18th March 2020  11am – 1pm

Soup and Social at the Badger Pub, 81 Brockwell Lane Brockwell Lane, Chesterfield, S40 4ED

This will be a the first of our Feel Free talks, where our members, committee and supporters can share a topic they are interested in.  Many of our members have other hobbies, have led interesting lives and we would like to find out more about you.  Our Co-ordinator – Joanne Gordon will give a talk about Chesterfield Theatre Company Formerly Chesterfield Playgoers, as well as informing you about their forthcoming production.

Previous meetings

I have no time for Tinnitus – Muriel’s Blog

I have no time for Tinnitus, for I’m as busy as a bee

living life to the full, like a bird that’s been set free.

You came into my life and left me in such a mess

until I realised that paying you attention was heightening my stress.

So I will suppress you, compress you and ignore you, until you set me free

for there is one thing you can be sure of, you will not feast on me.


I have no time for Tinnitus. I refuse to let you intervene

and strongly refute that you’ll prevent me from being the person I’ve always been.

Though we’ll always be together – I fully understand,

but be sure of one thing – that I will not allow you to take the upper hand!

There is life after Tinnitus, while as yet no cure has been found –

if we manage our condition and remain positive, we can turn our lives around.

Like the soldier back from battle, the war has left him lame.

He picks up the pieces and goes forward, so we must do the same.


I have no time for Tinnitus, so I’ll ignore you all I can.

You are very prevalent and the blight of many a man.

We must always remember that life is for living.

Tho’ events can beset us which are quite unforgiving.

So we must stay with the moment and never look back,

keep the present in mind so that we remain on track.

The future is for tomorrow – the past already gone.


So Tinnitus sufferers everywhere let us each and every one –

state, that we have no time for Tinnitus, with one united voice

for if we grasp the help that’s out there, then we do have a choice.

Finally, our message to Tinnitus – to leave you in no doubt

that our aim will always be – to try and stamp you out!

Chiropractic and Tinnitus Article by Priscilla So

I’m sure as tinnitus sufferers you probably know a bit more about the different symptoms, causes and issues than I do.  All I know is that in my 7 years of practice and my father’s 17 years of experience, we have helped numerous people reduce the frequency or severity of tinnitus or even report that it has completely disappeared.  Of course we know there are many reasons why people develop it and there are often many other symptoms that appear with it.  As Chiropractors we don’t treat symptoms as such and so I think I better explain exactly what it is we do do….

Usually a person comes to see us because they have a specific symptom that is bothering them such as low back pain, knee pain, headaches etc.  We always take a full medical history, neurological and chiropractic assessment of every person that walks in the door.

The body is controlled by the nervous system, the brain has nerve fibres that travel through the spinal cord and exit at every level of the spinal column.  I sometimes describe myself like a posh electrician because I help to make sure there are no blockages to the wiring that makes your body work.  The diagram shows where these nerve connections exit along the spinal cord and what areas of the body they supply.

Every cell in the body has to have communication to the brain to know how to function. The brain tells the cells what to do, but it also needs to receive information from the nerve fibres to know what is going on.  For example; if you need to move your wrist, your brain receives information all the time from the tissuesaround the joint and the joint capsule about where they are in space (proprioceptive nerve fibres) and what’s going on, this happens without you being aware of it. The information travels from the wrist through the elbow, the shoulder, up into the spinal cord in the neck and into the brain and back again.  If I damage my wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck or brain, that’s going to change the way the body moves that area or the muscles it can make fire.  I might notice that I can’t grip so well, that things seem particularly heavy or I might not notice anything different until because I’m using the muscles incorrectly, I start to damage them and feel pain. Tinnitus essentially is the nerve fibres in the ear being triggered as though they are responding to noise and telling the brain that there is sound, even when there isn’t. So what can cause certain nerve fibres to fire off?

There are three main things that can impede the function of normal nerve communication and so proper functioning of the body, they are:


Physical Stress:  so you can have a fall, you injure yourself, the body stops certain muscles and joints from moving while they heal and in the meantime you recruit different structures to move you, maybe in time damaging them and leading to symptoms. There can be changes in function before you notice and before you may feel symptoms.

We know that there are certain nerves that supply the ear and control its function, they exit from the top of the cervical spine, so if there is some problem with the joints, muscle and soft tissue in this area it can lead to nerve fibres firing off because they’ve been stimulated by damage, inflammation or abnormal movement, this can lead to symptoms, one of which may be tinnitus.  It is common not to have any symptoms in the neck with only tinnitus noticed.  That is why we as chiropractors look at function; do the joints function properly in their movement?  If they don’t then there is a problem.

Additionally the functioning of the jaw can have an effect on the ear, simply because of its proximity and its relationship with the surrounding musculature.  That is why some tinnitus sufferers may also notice their jaw clicks, pops or locks.  Chiropractors can also look at the functioning of the jaw, both the joint and the musculature and help correct this.


Chemical stress:  Are you eating the right foods for your body to repair, maintain and produce the chemicals to keep you working.  Bacteria, viruses and chemicals in the environment also cause changes to your body that affect its function.

Did your symptoms start after an illness or infection?  As chiropractors, not only can we check to see whether there is any structural issue that may have aggravated the problem and help that, for example; a kinked Eustachian tube, a problem with how the jaw moves or cervical joint issues which affect how well the ear drains.  We can also talk to you about supplements and diet which may help your immune system if you feel you’re prone to infections.

Are you eating the right foods for your body to heal and repair?  We know that a lack of certain essential minerals or vitamins can impede nerve function and cause chemical changes in the body.

That’s why Vitamin B12 and zinc is sometimes recommended for sufferers.


Emotional Stress:  I know that when we feel tired, down, hungry or generally stressed, symptoms can appear.  The problem is probably there all the time but when our bodies are not coping very well we produce more stress chemicals and our bodies become less able to cope with stress, like the additional nerve firing from an overstimulated nerve cell in the ear.  Also symptoms can appear worse at night, this is simply because there is less to distract the brain, the nerves may be firing all the time and the brain can ignore it for a while but at night time it can seem worse, this is also true of people that see us because of pain.

So how can chiropractors help?  Well we believe that the body is self-healing and self-regulating, we just enable the body to heal as well as it can. Of course if you have suffered long term damage to the ear, this may not resolve completely or heal but it’s always worth seeing if there is anything else that is making it worse or aggravating it. As I hope I’ve explained; diet, stress and physical problems can all contribute to the symptoms you may be suffering.

My advice, give your body a break, make it easier for it to function by drinking enough water, eating well, sleeping well and visit a chiropractor to make sure there are no additional structural issues that may be causing stress to the body.

Priscilla So Masters (Chiropractic) DC

Advanced Rated Activator doctor.


Priscilla is the owner of two practices in Matlock, Derbyshire and Bedford, Bedfordshire.  She works in the Matlock Clinic and Frank, her father and Esther Kong practice in Bedford. Frank, Priscilla and Esther use the Activator technique; a hand held device which delivers a specific gentle thrust to move a joint, normalise nerve function and reduce inflammation. The activator protocol specifically determines which structures are involved and in what direction they need adjusting, so the treatment is precise, measurable and gentle.

Tinnitus research priorities established

After months of hard work, the James Lind Alliance (JLA) Tinnitus Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) has published the top ten research uncertainties for tinnitus agreed by patients and clinicians. It is hoped that these will be a catalyst for more tinnitus research and encourage funders and researchers to rise to the challenge of addressing the selected priorities.

The top ten research uncertainties chosen were:

  • What management strategies are more effective than a usual model of audiological care in improving outcomes for people with tinnitus?
  • Is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), delivered by audiology professionals, effective for people with tinnitus? Here comparisons might be with usual audiological care or CBT delivered by a psychologist.
  • What management strategies are more effective for improving tinnitus-related insomnia than a usual model of care?
  • Do any of the various available complementary therapies provide improved outcome for people with tinnitus compared with a usual model of care?
  • What type of digital hearing aid or amplification strategy provides the most effective tinnitus relief?
  • What is the optimal set of guidelines for assessing children with tinnitus?
  • How can tinnitus be effectively managed in people who are Deaf or who have a profound hearing loss?
  • Are there different types of tinnitus and can they be explained by different mechanisms in the ear or brain?
  • What is the link between tinnitus and hyperacusis (over-sensitivity to sounds)?
  • Which medications have proven to be effective in tinnitus management compared with placebo?

David Stockdale, Chief Executive of the British Tinnitus Association said, “I am delighted with the top ten research uncertainties that have been selected as they represent a clear focus for future research as well as really capturing the questions that are important for patients and clinicians alike.”

Working with the JLA, the process of choosing the uncertainties began in September 2011, with patients and clinicians submitting the questions that they would like to see researched. Over 2500 questions were subsequently posed. A pooling and filtering process then took place removing anything previously researched leaving 393 questions. This long list was refined to 170 by removing those questions selected by only one or two people. These were then distributed within the tinnitus community so that patients and clinicians could choose their top ten. A shortlist was produced from these responses and discussed at a meeting in London on 16 July 2012 where both patients and clinicians finally agreed on the top ten.

The James Lind Alliance (JLA) Tinnitus Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) was led by the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) and the NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit.

The tinnitus uncertainties will now appear on the UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments (UK DUETs). UK DUETs publishes treatment uncertainties from patients, carers, clinicians, and from research recommendations, covering a wide variety of health problems.

The top ten tinnitus treatments uncertainties will be launched at the British Society of Audiology (BSA) Conference on 5-7 September 2012. Deb Hall, Director of NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit, said: “The outcomes from this project provide a much needed boost to tinnitus research because they identify specific questions for scientists to address that will bring about real patient benefit”