Let’s set the stage: you’re lying in bed at night attempting to relax after a long, exhausting day. Your eyelids are starting to get heavy and you recognize that your about to fall asleep. Then as you’re lying there in the quiet of the night, you start to notice the sound of buzzing in your ears. You know it’s nothing in your room because the radio, TV, and phone are all off. No, this noise is coming from inside your ears and you’re not sure how to stop it.
If this scenario has happened to you, then odds are that you’re one of the 50 million people who have tinnitus. This problem causes you to hear ringing, buzzing, and whooshing sounds, among others, inside your ears. For the majority of people, tinnitus will not have a substantial impact on their lives besides being a simple annoyance. But this is not the case with everyone who is suffering from tinnitus. For some, it can cause them to lose sleep, to disengage socially, and to have a hard time working.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is still a bit of a mystery, but experts have narrowed down a few causes for this problem. It appears commonly in individuals who have damaged hearing, as well as people who suffer from heart conditions. It’s believed that tinnitus comes about due to reduced blood flow around the ears, which makes the heart pump blood harder in order for it to get where it needs to go. People who have iron-deficiency anemia frequently 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 occurs as a symptom of other conditions, such as ear infections, canal blockages, and Meniere’s disease. Situations where tinnitus becomes more pronounced occur with all of these condition because they all affect the hearing. In other cases, there may not be an evident cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment difficult, but not impossible.
Is There Any Treatment For Tinnitus?
Depending on the root cause of your tinnitus, there might be a number of possible treatment choices. One important thing to take note of, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. But these treatments can still present a good chance for your tinnitus to improve or go away altogether.
Studies have shown that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in individuals who have hearing loss.
If masking the noise isn’t helpful, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to help people live with the ringing in their ears that does not disappear with other treatments. This kind of mental health treatment helps people change their negative thoughts about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that help them function normally on a regular basis.