Tinnitus & Vertigo

Tinnitus isn't directly related to vertigo in that it can't cause tinnitus but there are some conditions that have both tinnitus and vertigo as symptoms, and therefore, can help in diagnosis. Common balance disorders with possible associated tinnitus include:

Ménière’s Disease

People with Ménière’s disease often experience both at least temporarily and often at the same time. Other symptoms include a feeling of fullness in the ear and temporary hearing loss. There may also be some permanent residual hearing loss left behind after a Ménière’s attack.


Labyrinthitis is an inner ear infection affecting your hearing and balance causing a bony delicate structure housing the semi-circular canals deep inside your ear called the labyrinth to become inflamed. Many people diagnosed with labyrinthitis do not experience hearing loss. This is actually known as vestibular neuronitis however both terms are often used to describe the same condition.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

With BPPV, false signals are sent to the brain about how you are moving due to small crystals within the balance organ break loose from their correct position and collect as debris within another part. Short episodes of vertigo or dizziness are caused when your head moves in certain directions. Around 20% of people with BPPV also report tinnitus.

a. BPPV is responsible for 20% of all dizziness 

b. Head injuries are the most common cause of BPPV in people under 50.

c. About 50% of dizziness in older people is due to BPPV (Menieres Society)

d. There is no known reason for the onset of BPPV In half of all cases. 

e. Treatment is usually via a particle-repositioning manoeuvre that returns the debris to its correct location in the inner ear. A Tinnitus Centre expert should be able to recommend a BPPV specialist following an assessment .

Systemic Disorders

Systemic disorders of the body for example thyroid problems and the effects of diabetes have both tinnitus and vertigo as symptoms.

Blood Flow Problems

Blood flow problems such as low blood pressure or cardiac arrhythmia also have both tinnitus and vertigo as symptoms.

Blocked Eustachian Tube

The Eustachian tube runs down from the middle ear cavity to the back of the nose and throat. It has a mucosal lining and therefore can be prone to inflammation and infection.

  • The common cold (upper respiratory infection)
  • Swelling of the tissue lining of the Eustachian tube caused by sinus infections and allergies.
  • Children are more prone to Eustachian tube blockage because their tubes are narrower in diameter and more horizontal in orientation.

  • Recurrent infections, particularly in children, can be caused by adenoid tissue in the back of the nose at the base of the Eustachian tube that can act as a reservoir for bacteria. Adenoid removal (adenoidectomy) is frequently recommended in children who suffer from this.
  • Although extremely rare, masses or tumors in the skull base or nasopharynx can lead to Eustachian tube obstruction.
  • Excessively small Eustachian tubes (as may afflict children with Down Syndrome)
  • Smoking is associated with damage to the cilia that sweep mucus and debris from the middle ear space via the Eustachian tube to the back of the nose where it may be expelled.
  • Severe allergic rhinitis can cause vertigo usually due to a blocked Eustachian tube. This forms part of the middle ear. A blocked Eustachian tube will also likely cause tinnitus. If you're experiencing vertigo due to allergic rhinitis then you will probably also be experiencing the related conditions of sinus congestion, sneezing, itchy throat, and coughing.