Let’s set the stage: you’re in your bed at night trying to chill out after a long, stressful day. Your eyelids are getting heavy and you recognize that sleep is right around the corner. Then as you lie there in the quiet of the night, you begin to notice the sound of ringing in your ears. Your TV, radio, and phone are all turned off so you know it’s nothing inside your room. No, this sound is coming from within your ears and you’re not sure how to stop it.
If this scenario sounds familiar, then it’s likely that you’re one of the 50 million people who have tinnitus. Ringing, Buzzing, and a variety of other sounds will be heard in your ears when you have this problem. Most people suffering from tinnitus consider it a mere inconvenience; they notice it now and again but it doesn’t really affect their day-to-day lives. For other individuals, unfortunately, tinnitus can be devastating and cause them to lose sleep and have difficulty engaging in work and social activities.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus remains somewhat of a mystery, but this condition has been narrowed down to a handful of causes. It appears mostly in individuals who have damaged hearing, as well as individuals who have heart problems. Reduced blood flow around the ears is commonly considered to be the underlying cause of tinnitus. This causes the heart to have to work harder to pump blood to where it’s needed. People who have iron-deficiency anemia frequently experience tinnitus symptoms since 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 happens as a symptom of other conditions, like ear infections, canal blockages, and Meniere’s disease. All of these conditions impact the hearing and lead to scenarios where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. In other cases, there may not be an easily discernible cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment challenging, but not impossible.
What Treatments Are Available For Tinnitus?
Depending on the underlying cause of your tinnitus, there might be a number of possible treatment choices. One significant thing to take note of, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. But these treatments will still present a good chance for your tinnitus to improve or disappear altogether.
Research has shown that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
If masking the noise doesn’t help, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been confirmed to help people deal with the ringing in their ears that does not fade away with other treatments. This type of mental health treatment helps patients turn their negative thoughts about tinnitus into more positive, realistic thoughts that help them function normally on a day to day basis.