Let’s set the scene: you’re lying in bed at night attempting to chill out after a long, stressful day. Your eyelids are getting heavy and you know that your about to fall asleep. 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 room because the radio, TV, and phone are all off. Unfortunately, this sound is in 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 are afflicted by tinnitus. Buzzing, ringing, and a variety of other noises will be heard in your ears when you have this problem. The majority of people suffering from tinnitus consider it a mere irritation; it comes and goes but doesn’t really impact their daily lives. For other individuals, however, tinnitus can be debilitating and cause them to lose sleep and have a hard time doing work and recreational activities.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is still a bit of a mystery, but experts have narrowed down a few causes for this problem. It shows up commonly in people who have damaged hearing, and also people who suffer from heart conditions. Restricted blood flow around the ears is generally thought to be the underlying cause of tinnitus. This causes the heart to work harder to pump blood to where it’s needed. People who have iron-deficiency anemia commonly suffer from tinnitus symptoms since their blood cells don’t 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 happens as a result of other conditions, like Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. All of these ailments impact the hearing and lead to scenarios where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. At times treatment can be difficult when the cause of tinnitus is not evident, but that doesn’t mean treatment isn’t possible.
What Treatments Are Out There For Tinnitus?
Depending on the underlying cause of your tinnitus, there might be several possible treatment options. One important thing to note, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. In spite of this fact, there’s still a good possibility that your tinnitus will improve or even disappear completely because of these treatments.
Studies have shown that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in people who have hearing loss.
If masking 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 go away with other treatments. This kind of mental health treatment helps people turn their negative ideas about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that help them function normally on an every day basis.