Figuring out how to live with tinnitus is often how you manage it. To help tune it out you keep the television on. And loud music at bars is causing your hearing loss to get worse so you stay away from going dancing. You’re regularly trying new therapies and techniques with your specialist. Eventually, your tinnitus simply becomes something you fold into your daily life.
Tinnitus doesn’t have a cure so you feel powerless. Changes could be coming, however. New research published in PLOS Biology suggests that an effective and permanent cure for tinnitus might be coming soon.
Causes of Tinnitus
Tinnitus commonly is experienced as a buzzing or ringing in the ear (although, tinnitus could be present as other noises as well) that do not have an objective cause. A condition that affects over 50 million people in the United States alone, it’s incredibly common for people to have tinnitus.
It’s also a symptom, in general, and not a cause in and of itself. Put simply, something triggers tinnitus – tinnitus symptoms are the outcome of some root problem. These underlying causes can be difficult to diagnose and that’s one reason why a cure is challenging. Tinnitus symptoms can occur due to a number of reasons.
It is true, the majority of people attribute tinnitus to loss of hearing of some type, but even that link is uncertain. There is some relationship but there are some people who have tinnitus and don’t have any loss of hearing.
A New Culprit: Inflammation
Dr. Shaowen Bao, who is associate professor of physiology at Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscon has recently released research. Mice that had tinnitus brought about by noise induced hearing loss were experimented on by Dr. Bao. And a new culprit for tinnitus was discovered by her and her team: inflammation.
Inflammation was found around the brain centers used for hearing when scans were done to these mice. As inflammation is the body’s response to damage, this finding does indicate that noise-induced hearing loss might be causing some damage we don’t thoroughly understand yet.
But a new kind of treatment is also made available by these discoveries. Because we understand (generally speaking) how to deal with inflammation. The tinnitus symptoms went away when the mice were treated for inflammation. Or at the very least there were no longer observable symptoms of tinnitus.
Does This Mean There’s a Pill for Tinnitus?
If you take a long enough viewpoint, you can definitely look at this study and see how, one day, there could definitely be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine if keeping your tinnitus at bay was a simple matter of taking your morning medicine and you could escape from all of the coping mechanisms you need to do now.
There are a few hurdles but that is certainly the goal:
- Any new approach needs to be confirmed to be safe; these inflammation blocking medications may have harmful side effects that still need to be identified.
- There are several causes for tinnitus; Which specific types of tinnitus are related to inflammation is still not certain.
- These experiments were performed first on mice. And it will be a while before this particular strategy is safe and authorized for use on people.
So, a pill to treat tinnitus may be a long way off. But at least now it’s feasible. That should bring anybody who has tinnitus substantial hope. And, obviously, this approach in dealing with tinnitus is not the only one presently being researched. That cure gets closer with every bit of knowledge and every new finding.
What Can You do Today?
You might have hope for an eventual tinnitus pill but that won’t give you any relief for your persistent buzzing or ringing now. Modern treatments might not “cure” your tinnitus but they do offer real results.
Being able to tune out or ignore tinnitus noises, oftentimes utilizing noise canceling headphones or cognitive techniques is what modern strategies are aiming to do. You don’t need to wait for a cure to get relief, you can get help coping with your tinnitus right now. Discovering a therapy that works can help you spend more time doing what you love, and less time thinking about that buzzing or ringing in your ears. Get in touch with us for a consultation right away.