Let’s set the stage: You’re lying in bed attempting to fall asleep after a long exhausting day. Your eyelids are starting to get heavy and you know that your about to fall asleep. Then you hear it: a ringing sound inside your ears. Your TV, radio, and phone are all turned 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 situation has happened to you, then chances are that you’re one of the 50 million people that are afflicted by tinnitus. This problem causes you to hear buzzing, whooshing, and ringing sounds, among others, in your ears. For most people, tinnitus won’t have a significant impact on their lives beyond being a simple irritation. For others, unfortunately, tinnitus can be debilitating and cause them to lose sleep and have difficulty engaging in work and social activities.
What’s The Primary Cause of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is still a bit of a mystery, but this problem has been narrowed down to a few causes. It shows up mostly in people who have damaged hearing, as well as people who have heart conditions. Reduced blood flow around the ears is commonly thought to be the underlying cause of tinnitus. This causes the heart to work harder to pump blood to where it’s needed. People who have iron-deficiency anemia commonly suffer from tinnitus symptoms because their blood cells don’t carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, once again, makes the heart work overtime to get oxygen and other nutrients where they need to go.
Tinnitus also occurs 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 affect the hearing. At times treatment can be challenging when the cause of tinnitus isn’t easily discernible, but that doesn’t mean treatment isn’t possible.
What Treatments Are Out There For Tinnitus?
There are a few treatments available to help stop the buzzing in your ears, all depending on the underlying cause of your tinnitus. One relevant thing to note, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. Despite this fact, there’s still an excellent possibility that your tinnitus will get better or even disappear altogether due to these treatments.
Research has revealed that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in people who suffer from hearing loss.
If covering up the noise isn’t helpful, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been confirmed to help people live with the ringing in their ears that does not disappear with other treatments. This kind of mental health therapy helps patients turn their negative ideas about tinnitus into more positive, realistic thoughts that help them function normally on a day to day basis.