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Mild Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion: your guide to recovery

Noise sensitivity and tinnitus after concussion

Being more sensitive to sound is normal after concussion.

Some people may find that they have problems going to noisy places such as the grocery store and restaurants.

Tinnitus is a ringing, buzzing or hissing noise in your ears. It can happen due to damage to the inner ear or to the hearing nerves and the part of the brain that controls hearing. Tinnitus can be there all the time or it may come and go. These changes usually get better after a while.

What can I do?

  • At first, avoiding noisy places can help, however you should gradually start going back to them. Choose times when the places are less crowded or noisy.

  • Try wearing ear plugs in noisy places as it will help block sounds that you are more sensitive to.

  • If you have tinnitus when you are trying to sleep, try using a white noise machine or fan.

  • Some medications can cause tinnitus or make it worse. Talk to your doctor about your medications.

  • Anxiety, depression, stress and lack of sleep can make tinnitus worse. It is important to take care of your mood and sleep.

    Get more information about sleep »
    Learn more about mood changes »

If the ringing in your ears gets worse and starts to get in the way of concentrating or sleeping, see your doctor or health care provider. A referral to an ear doctor may help.