Let’s set the stage: you’re lying in bed at night attempting to unwind after a long, exhausting day. You feel yourself beginning to drift off to sleep. Then you start to hear it: a buzzing sound inside your ears. You know it’s nothing in your room because the radio, TV, and phone have all been turned off. No, this noise is coming from inside your ears and you’re not sure how to make it stop.
If this scenario has happened to you, then it’s likely 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. For the majority of people, tinnitus will not have a substantial affect on their lives besides being a simple annoyance. For other individuals, however, tinnitus can be debilitating and cause them to lose sleep and have difficulty performing work and social activities.
What’s The Underlying Cause of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus remains somewhat of a mystery, but this condition has been narrowed down to a few causes. It appears commonly in individuals who have damaged hearing, and also individuals who suffer from heart problems. Restricted blood flow around the ears is generally considered to be the main cause of tinnitus. This causes the heart to work harder to pump blood to where it’s needed. People who have iron-deficiency anemia frequently suffer from tinnitus symptoms because their blood cells don’t carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, again, works the heart harder to deliver nutrients to the right place, often leading to tinnitus.
Tinnitus also occurs as a symptom of other conditions, like Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. All of these conditions impact the hearing and result in situations where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. In other cases, there might not be an easily discernible cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment challenging, but not impossible.
Is There Any Cure For Tinnitus?
Depending on the root cause of your tinnitus, there may be several possible treatment options. One important thing to note, however, is that there is currently no known cure for tinnitus. But these treatments will still offer a good chance for your tinnitus to get better or go away altogether.
Research has revealed that hearing aids help mask 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 live with the buzzing in their ears that doesn’t go away with other treatments. This kind of mental health therapy helps patients change their negative ideas about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that help them function normally on a day to day basis.