Let’s set the stage: you’re in your bed at night attempting to unwind after a long, tiring day. Your eyelids are getting heavy and you recognize that sleep is right around the corner. Then you hear it: a ringing sound in your ears. You’re certain 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 don’t know how to stop it.
If this scenario has happened to you, then chances are that you’re one of the 50 million people that have tinnitus. This problem makes you hear ringing, buzzing, and whooshing sounds, among others, within your ears. For most people, tinnitus will not have a substantial affect on their lives besides being a simple irritation. For other individuals, unfortunately, tinnitus can be unbearable and cause them to lose sleep and have a hard time performing work and social activities.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus remains somewhat of a mystery, but specialists have focused in on a few causes for this condition. It shows up commonly in individuals who have damaged hearing, as well as people who have heart conditions. Restricted blood flow around the ears is generally believed to be the main 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 since 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 ear infections, canal blockages, and Meniere’s disease. Scenarios where tinnitus becomes more pronounced happen with all of these condition because they all affect the hearing. In other situations, there may not be an evident cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment difficult, but not impossible.
Is There Any Cure 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 relevant thing to take note of, however, is that there is currently no known cure for tinnitus. In spite of this fact, there’s still an excellent chance that your tinnitus will get better or even go away altogether because of these treatments.
Research has shown that hearing aids help mask tinnitus in people who have hearing loss.
If covering up the noise doesn’t help, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been confirmed to help people live with the ringing in their ears that doesn’t disappear with other treatments. This mental health type of treatment can help people who are afflicted by tinnitus to function more normally on an everyday basis by helping them transform their negative thinking into a more positive outlook.