Let’s set the scene: you’re lying in bed at night attempting to relax after a long, stressful day. You feel yourself beginning to drift off to sleep. Then you start to hear it: a ringing sound inside your ears. Your TV, radio, and phone are all turned off so you’re sure it’s nothing inside your room. Unfortunately, this noise is inside your ears and it won’t stop.
If this situation has happened to you, then it’s likely that you’re one of the 50 million people who are afflicted by tinnitus. Buzzing, ringing, and various other sounds will be heard inside of your ears when you have this condition. The majority of people who have tinnitus consider it a mere inconvenience; it comes and goes but doesn’t really affect their daily lives. For others, unfortunately, tinnitus can be devastating and cause them to lose sleep and have difficulty performing work and recreational activities.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is still a bit of a mystery, but this problem has been narrowed down to a few causes. It appears mostly in people who have damaged hearing, as well as people who have heart problems. It’s believed that tinnitus occurs due to restricted blood flow around the ears, which makes the heart pump blood harder in order for it to get where it needs to go. People who have iron-deficiency anemia frequently experience tinnitus symptoms since their blood cells do not carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, once again, works the heart harder to get nutrients to the right place, often leading to tinnitus.
Tinnitus also happens as a symptom of other conditions, such as ear infections, canal blockages, and Meniere’s disease. Scenarios where tinnitus becomes more pronounced happen with all of these condition because they all impact the hearing. In other situations, there might not be an evident cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment difficult, but not impossible.
What Treatments Are Available For Tinnitus?
Depending on the root cause of your tinnitus, there might be several possible treatment choices. One important thing to take note of, however, is that there is currently no known cure for tinnitus. But these treatments will still offer a good possibility for your tinnitus to get better or disappear altogether.
Research has revealed that hearing aids help mask tinnitus in individuals who have hearing loss.
If masking the noise isn’t helpful, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to help people live with the buzzing in their ears that does not go away with other treatments. This kind of mental health therapy helps patients change their negative ideas about tinnitus into more positive, realistic thoughts that help them function normally on a day to day basis.