Let’s set the scene: you’re in your bed at night trying to chill out after a long, exhausting day. You feel yourself starting to drift off to sleep. Then as you lie there in the quiet of the night, you start to notice the sound of ringing in your ears. You know it’s nothing in your room because the TV, radio, and phone have all been turned off. No, this noise is coming from within your ears and you don’t know how to stop it.
If this situation sounds familiar, then it’s likely that you’re one of the 50 million people who suffer from tinnitus. Buzzing, ringing, and a range of other noises will be heard inside of your ears when you suffer from this condition. For the majority of people, tinnitus will not have a significant affect on their lives besides being a simple irritation. But this is not the case with everyone who suffers from 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 remains somewhat of a mystery, but specialists have narrowed down a few triggers for this condition. It’s most common in people who have damaged hearing, as well as individuals who have heart problems. It’s believed that tinnitus occurs 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 commonly experience tinnitus symptoms since their blood cells do not carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, once again, works the heart harder to get nutrients to the right place, often resulting in tinnitus.
Tinnitus also happens as a result of other conditions, like ear infections, canal blockages, and Meniere’s disease. Situations where tinnitus becomes more pronounced happen with all of these condition because they all impact the hearing. Sometimes treatment can be challenging when the cause of tinnitus isn’t evident, but that doesn’t mean treatment is impossible.
How Can Tinnitus be Treated?
Depending on the underlying cause of your tinnitus, there might be several possible treatment options. One significant thing to note, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. In spite of this fact, there’s still a good chance that your tinnitus will improve or even fade away completely because of these treatments.
Research has shown that hearing aids help mask tinnitus in people who have hearing loss.
If covering up the noise doesn’t help, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to help people live with the ringing in their ears that doesn’t fade away with other treatments. This kind of mental health therapy helps patients turn their negative ideas about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that will help them function normally on a regular basis.