Let’s set the scene: You’re lying in bed attempting to sleep after a long tiring day. You feel yourself beginning to drift off to sleep. Then as you’re lying there in the quiet of the night, you start to notice the sound of ringing in your ears. Your phone, TV, and radio are all off so you know it’s nothing in your room. Unfortunately, this sound is in your ears and it won’t go away.
If this scenario sounds familiar, then it’s likely that you’re one of the 50 million people who have tinnitus. This problem makes you hear ringing, buzzing, and whooshing sounds, among others, within your ears. For most people, tinnitus won’t have a significant affect on their lives beyond being a simple irritation. For other people, however, tinnitus can be debilitating and cause them to lose sleep and have a hard time engaging in work and recreational activities.
What’s The Primary Cause of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is still a bit of a mystery, but specialists have focused in on a few triggers for this condition. It’s most common in individuals who have damaged hearing, and also individuals who have heart problems. It’s believed that tinnitus happens due to reduced 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 commonly suffer from tinnitus symptoms because their blood cells do not carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, again, makes the heart work extra hard to get oxygen and other nutrients where they need to go.
Tinnitus also happens as a symptom of other conditions, like Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. Situations where tinnitus becomes more pronounced occur with all of these condition because they all affect the hearing. In other situations, there might not be an easily discernible cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment challenging, but not impossible.
What Treatments Are Out There For Tinnitus?
There are a number of treatments out there to help stop the ringing in your ears, all depending on the root cause of your tinnitus. One significant thing to take note of, however, is that there is currently no known cure for tinnitus. In spite of this fact, there’s still an excellent chance that your tinnitus will get better or even disappear altogether because of these treatments.
Research has revealed that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
If covering up the noise isn’t helpful, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven to help people deal with the buzzing in their ears that does not disappear with other treatments. This mental health type of therapy can help people who suffer from tinnitus to function more normally on a day to day basis by helping them change their negative thinking into a more positive outlook.