Tinnitus and vertigo are common, but they don’t always go together. Concurrent tinnitus and vertigo can sometimes occur due to underlying conditions that affect your inner ear.

Tinnitus and vertigo can significantly affect your quality of life, but many people don’t realize that they might be linked. While they usually have different causes, they can sometimes result from the same condition affecting the inner ear.

Tinnitus is a ringing, buzzing, or other sound in your ear. It’s a common condition that can occur in one or both ears and range from mildly annoying to severely disruptive. Vertigo, on the other hand, is a sensation that the world is spinning or tilting around you. It often leads to loss of balance and can cause nausea and vomiting.

Let’s explore the connection between tinnitus and vertigo, their causes, and how they can be managed.

Both tinnitus and vertigo involve the inner ear, which houses the cochlea (responsible for hearing) and the vestibular system (responsible for balance). Because these structures are in such close proximity, damage to the inner ear can sometimes cause both of these conditions.

Tinnitus and vertigo are very common conditions. According to a 2024 research study, around 11% of U.S. adults have tinnitus. Occasional vertigo, on the other hand, can affect up to 30% of people. However, having both tinnitus and vertigo isn’t as common and can indicate a more serious disorder involving your inner ear.

Let’s discuss conditions that can cause both tinnitus and vertigo in more detail.

Meniere disease

Meniere disease is a condition that affects your inner ear. It’s a rare disease that affects less than 0.5% of people globally.

In addition to vertigo and tinnitus, Meniere disease can cause:


Labyrinthitis involves an infection of the labyrinth, an organ that houses your cochlea and vestibular system. This can cause temporary vertigo and hearing loss. Tinnitus can be one of the symptoms of hearing loss.

Brain tumors

Certain rare noncancerous brain tumors can cause concurrent tinnitus and vertigo.

Acoustic neuroma is a growth on the nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain. Cholesteatoma, on the other hand, is a growth in the middle section of your ear, behind the eardrum.

Both of these conditions can cause tinnitus, vertigo, and hearing loss. Other symptoms may include:


Otosclerosis is a rare condition that causes atypical bone growth in the inner ear. This affects the way you hear and causes gradual hearing loss. Tinnitus and vertigo can also happen with otosclerosis.


Migraine headaches can cause a type of vertigo known as vestibular migraine or migrainous vertigo.

Tinnitus and hearing loss are less common symptoms of this condition. They occur due to damage in the inner ear caused by a spasm in your blood vessels that can happen during a migraine episode.

Genetic conditions

Some rare genetic conditions, such as Usher syndrome and enlarged vestibular aqueduct (EVA), can cause both hearing loss and balance problems, potentially leading to tinnitus and vertigo.

Usher syndrome can also cause an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa.

While one condition does not directly cause the other, they can sometimes occur together due to underlying issues in the inner ear. If you experience both tinnitus and vertigo, speak with a medical professional to determine the root cause.

Seek medical help if you experience any of the following:

  • sudden, severe, or prolonged episodes of vertigo or tinnitus
  • difficulty walking or standing
  • drop attack (a sudden fall without a known cause)
  • hearing loss
  • severe nausea or vomiting
  • vision changes
  • persistent ear pressure

A healthcare professional may use various tests to diagnose the underlying cause of concurrent tinnitus and vertigo. These can include:

Treatment of your tinnitus or vertigo will depend on the underlying cause. Some treatment approaches include:

  • medications, such as anti-vertigo medications or diuretics for Meniere disease
  • hearing aids or cochlear implants to help with hearing loss
  • vestibular rehabilitation therapy to help improve balance
  • surgery to remove growths

If you’re experiencing both tinnitus and vertigo, be sure to seek medical help for a proper diagnosis of an underlying condition. Early intervention can lead to better management of symptoms and improved quality of life.