Let’s set the scene: you’re in your bed at night attempting to unwind after a long, exhausting day. Your eyelids are getting heavy and you recognize that sleep is right around the corner. Then you start to hear it: a buzzing sound inside your ears. You’re certain it’s nothing in your bedroom because the radio, TV, and phone are all off. No, this noise is coming from inside your ears and you don’t know how to make it stop.
If this scenario has happened to you, then odds 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, inside your ears. Most people who have tinnitus think of it as a mere irritation; it comes and goes but doesn’t really affect their day-to-day lives. But this is not the situation with everybody who has tinnitus. For some, it can cause them to lose sleep, to disengage socially, and to have a hard time working.
What’s The Underlying Cause of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is still a bit of a mystery, but this condition has been narrowed down to a few causes. It appears mostly in individuals who have damaged hearing, and also people who have heart conditions. It’s believed that tinnitus happens due to restricted 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 often suffer from tinnitus symptoms since 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 result of other conditions, like Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. Scenarios where tinnitus becomes more pronounced happen with all of these condition because they all affect the hearing. In other cases, there might not be an evident cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment challenging, but not impossible.
What Treatments Are Available For Tinnitus?
There are several treatments out there to help stop the ringing in your ears, all depending on the root cause of your tinnitus. One important 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 vanish completely because of these treatments.
Studies have 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 confirmed to help people live with the ringing in their ears that does not fade away 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 thoughts into a more positive outlook.