Let’s set the scene: You’re lying in bed trying to sleep after a long exhausting 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 start to notice the sound of ringing in your ears. You know it’s nothing in your bedroom 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 condition makes you hear ringing, buzzing, and whooshing sounds, among others, within your ears. For most people, tinnitus will not have a significant impact on their lives besides being a simple inconvenience. But this is not the case with everyone who suffers from tinnitus. For some, it can cause them to Disengage socially, have a hard time working, and to lose sleep.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is still a bit of a mystery, but this condition has been narrowed down to a few causes. It’s most common in people who have damaged hearing, as well as people who have heart conditions. Reduced blood flow around the ears is generally thought 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 since their blood cells do not 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 occurs as a symptom of other conditions, such as Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. All of these ailments affect the hearing and lead to scenarios where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. In some cases treatment can be difficult when the cause of tinnitus isn’t evident, but that doesn’t mean treatment isn’t possible.
Is There Any Treatment For Tinnitus?
There are several treatments available to help stop the ringing in your ears, all dependent on the underlying cause of your tinnitus. One significant thing to take note of, however, is that there is currently no known cure for tinnitus. In spite of this fact, there’s still a good possibility that your tinnitus will get better or even vanish altogether because of these treatments.
Studies have revealed that hearing aids help mask tinnitus in individuals who have hearing loss.
If covering up the noise isn’t helpful, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven to help people live with the buzzing in their ears that does not go away with other treatments. This mental health type of treatment can help individuals who are afflicted by tinnitus to function more normally on an everyday basis by helping them change their negative thoughts into a more positive mindset.