Figuring out how to live with tinnitus is often how you manage it. You leave the television on to help you tune out the constant ringing. And loud music at bars is causing your hearing loss to get worse so you stay away from going dancing. You’re regularly trying new therapies and techniques with your hearing care expert. You simply work tinnitus into your daily life eventually.
Tinnitus has no cure so you feel powerless. But that may be changing. New research published in PLOS Biology seems to give promise that we could be getting closer to a permanent and reliable cure for tinnitus.
You’re dealing with tinnitus if you hear a ringing or buzzing (or at times other sounds) with no objective cause. A problem that impacts over 50 million people in the United States alone, tinnitus is incredibly common.
It’s also a symptom, generally speaking, and not a cause in and of itself. Simply put, something triggers tinnitus – tinnitus symptoms are the outcome of some underlying problem. One of the reasons why a “cure” for tinnitus is challenging is that these root causes can be challenging to pin down. There are numerous possible reasons for tinnitus symptoms.
Even the relationship between tinnitus and loss of hearing is not clear though most people associate the two. There’s a correlation, certainly, but not all people who suffer from tinnitus also have loss of hearing (and vice versa).
A New Culprit: Inflammation
Dr. Shaowen Bao, who is associate professor of physiology at Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscon has recently released research. Mice that had tinnitus triggered by noise induced hearing loss were experimented on by Dr. Bao. And a new culprit for tinnitus was uncovered by her and her team: inflammation.
Inflammation was found around the brain centers responsible for hearing when scans were done to these mice. These Scans suggest that noise-induced hearing loss is contributing to some unidentified injury because inflammation is the body’s response to damage.
But this finding of inflammation also brings about the possibility of a new kind of treatment. Because dealing with inflammation is something we know how to do (in general). The tinnitus symptoms disappear when the mice were treated for inflammation. Or, at least, those symptoms weren’t observable any longer
So is There a Pill For Tinnitus?
If you take a patient enough view, you can definitely look at this study and see how, one day, there may easily be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine if keeping your tinnitus under control was a routine matter of taking your morning medicine and you could avoid all of the coping mechanisms you have to do now.
There are a couple of obstacles but that is certainly the goal:
- There are a number of causes for tinnitus; it’s difficult to know (for now) whether all or even most tinnitus is connected to inflammation of some type.
- These experiments were first performed on mice. And it will be a while before this particular approach is safe and approved for people.
- We still need to establish whether any new approach is safe; it might take some time to identify precise side effects, complications, or problems related to these particular medications that block inflammation.
So, a pill for tinnitus could be pretty far off. But at least now it’s feasible. That should give anyone who has tinnitus significant hope. And other solutions are also being studied. Every new finding, every new bit of understanding, brings that cure for tinnitus just a bit closer.
What Can You do Today?
If you have a prolonged ringing or buzzing in your ears today, the potential of a far off pill might give you hope – but probably not relief. There are modern treatments for tinnitus that can deliver real results, even if they don’t necessarily “cure” the underlying issue.
Being able to tune out or ignore tinnitus sounds, sometimes utilizing noise canceling headphones or cognitive therapies is what modern methods are aiming to do. You don’t need to wait for a cure to find relief, you can get help coping with your tinnitus right now. Spending less time stressing about the ringing or buzzing in your ears and more time doing what you enjoy is the reason why you need to let us help you find a treatment that works for you. Get in touch with us for a consultation now.