Let’s set the stage: You’re lying in bed trying to fall asleep after a long tiring day. Your eyelids are getting heavy and you recognize that sleep is right around the corner. Then you start to hear it: a buzzing sound in your ears. Your phone, TV, and radio are all turned off so you know it’s nothing in your room. Unfortunately, this noise is inside your ears and it won’t stop.
If this scenario has happened to you, then odds are that you’re one of the 50 million people that suffer from tinnitus. This problem makes you hear buzzing, whooshing, and ringing sounds, among others, inside your ears. Most people who have tinnitus think of it as a mere irritation; they notice it now and again but it doesn’t really impact their day-to-day lives. But this is not the situation with everybody who has 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 handful of causes. It’s most prevalent in individuals who have damaged hearing, and also individuals who suffer from heart problems. Restricted blood flow around the ears is generally 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 often suffer from tinnitus symptoms since their blood cells don’t carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, again, works the heart harder to deliver nutrients to the correct place, often leading to tinnitus.
Tinnitus also occurs as a symptom of other conditions, like Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. Scenarios where tinnitus becomes more pronounced occur with all of these condition because they all impact the hearing. In some cases treatment can be challenging when the cause of tinnitus isn’t evident, but that doesn’t mean treatment isn’t possible.
What Treatments Are Out There For Tinnitus?
Depending on the root cause of your tinnitus, there might be a number of possible treatment choices. One significant thing to note, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. But these treatments will still offer a good possibility for your tinnitus to get better or go away altogether.
Studies have shown that hearing aids help mask tinnitus in individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
If masking the noise doesn’t help, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to help people deal with the ringing in their ears that does not fade away with other treatments. This mental health type of therapy can help people who are afflicted by tinnitus to function more normally on a day to day basis by helping them change their negative thoughts into a more positive mindset.