Let’s set the scene: you’re in your bed at night attempting to unwind after a long, stressful day. You feel yourself starting to drift off to sleep. Then you hear it: a ringing sound inside your ears. Your TV, radio, and phone are all switched off so you know it’s nothing in your room. Unfortunately, this noise 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 are afflicted by tinnitus. This condition makes you hear buzzing, whooshing, and ringing sounds, among others, in your ears. For most people, tinnitus won’t have a significant affect on their lives beyond being a simple annoyance. But this is not the situation with everyone who has tinnitus. For some, it can cause them to lose sleep, to disengage socially, and to have a hard time working.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is still a bit of a mystery, but experts have focused in on a few triggers for this problem. It shows up commonly in people who have damaged hearing, and also individuals who have heart conditions. It’s believed that tinnitus happens due to reduced blood flow around the ears, which causes the heart to pump blood harder so that it can get where it needs to go. People who have iron-deficiency anemia commonly experience tinnitus symptoms since their blood cells do not carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, again, works the heart harder to deliver nutrients to the correct place, often leading to tinnitus.
Tinnitus also happens as a symptom of other conditions, such as Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. All of these ailments impact the hearing and lead to situations where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. Sometimes treatment can be challenging when the cause of tinnitus is not evident, but that doesn’t mean treatment isn’t possible.
Is There Any Treatment For Tinnitus?
Depending on the root cause of your tinnitus, there might be several possible treatment choices. One significant thing to note, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. In spite of this fact, there’s still an excellent possibility that your tinnitus will get better or even go away altogether because of these treatments.
Research has revealed that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
If masking the noise isn’t helpful, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been confirmed to help people deal with the ringing in their ears that does not disappear with other treatments. This kind of mental health therapy helps people change their negative ideas about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that will help them function normally on a regular basis.