Let’s set the scene: You’re lying in bed trying to fall asleep after a long stressful day. Your eyelids are getting heavy and you know that your about to fall asleep. Then as you’re lying 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 radio, TV, and phone are all off. No, this sound is coming from inside 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 that are afflicted by tinnitus. This problem causes you to hear ringing, buzzing, and whooshing sounds, among others, inside your ears. For the majority of people, tinnitus won’t have a substantial affect on their lives beyond being a simple annoyance. But this is not the case with everyone who is suffering from tinnitus. For some, it can cause them to lose sleep, to disengage socially, and to have a hard time working.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus remains somewhat of a mystery, but specialists have narrowed down a few triggers for this condition. It’s most prevalent in people who have damaged hearing, and also people who suffer from heart problems. It’s believed that tinnitus occurs due to restricted blood flow around the ears, which makes the heart pump blood harder so that it can get where it needs to go. People who have iron-deficiency anemia frequently experience tinnitus symptoms because their blood cells do not carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, again, works the heart harder to get nutrients to the correct place, often leading to tinnitus.
Tinnitus also occurs as a symptom of other conditions, such as 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 easily discernible cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment challenging, but not impossible.
Is There Any Treatment For Tinnitus?
Depending on the underlying cause of your tinnitus, there may be a number of possible treatment options. One important thing to note, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. Despite this fact, there’s still an excellent chance that your tinnitus will get better or even vanish completely because of these treatments.
Research has revealed that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in individuals who have hearing loss.
If covering up the noise isn’t helpful, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to help people deal with the ringing in their ears that doesn’t fade away with other treatments. This type of mental health therapy helps patients turn their negative feelings about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that will help them function normally on an every day basis.