Let’s set the scene: You’re lying in bed trying to fall asleep after a long tiring day. Your eyelids are getting heavy and you recognize that your about to fall asleep. Then as you’re lying there in the quiet of the night, you begin to notice the sound of ringing in your ears. You know it’s nothing in your bedroom because the TV, radio, and phone have all been turned off. Unfortunately, this noise is inside your ears and it won’t stop.
If this scenario sounds familiar, then it’s likely that you’re one of the 50 million people who are afflicted by tinnitus. This condition makes you hear buzzing, whooshing, and ringing sounds, among others, within your ears. For most people, tinnitus will not have a significant impact on their lives besides being a simple irritation. For other individuals, unfortunately, tinnitus can be debilitating and cause them to lose sleep and have a hard time performing work and social activities.
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 people who have damaged hearing, and also individuals who suffer from heart conditions. Reduced blood flow around the ears is commonly thought 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 commonly experience tinnitus symptoms because 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 symptom of other conditions, like Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. All of these ailments impact the hearing and lead to situations where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. In other cases, there may not be an easily discernible cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment difficult, but not impossible.
What Treatments Are Available For Tinnitus?
There are a number of treatments out there to help stop the buzzing in your ears, all depending on the root cause of your tinnitus. One significant thing to take note of, however, is that there is currently no known cure for tinnitus. Despite this fact, there’s still a good chance that your tinnitus will improve or even go away altogether due to these treatments.
Research has revealed that hearing aids help mask tinnitus in individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
If masking the noise isn’t helpful, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been confirmed to help people live with the buzzing in their ears that doesn’t disappear with other treatments. This kind of mental health treatment helps people turn their negative ideas about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that will help them function normally on an every day basis.