Let’s set the stage: you’re lying in bed at night attempting to chill out after a long, tiring day. You feel yourself beginning to drift off to sleep. Then as you’re lying there in the quiet of the night, you begin to notice the sound of ringing in your ears. You’re certain it’s nothing in your bedroom because the TV, radio, and phone are all off. Unfortunately, this sound is inside your ears and it won’t stop.
If this situation sounds familiar, then it’s likely that you’re one of the 50 million people that have tinnitus. This condition makes you hear buzzing, whooshing, and ringing sounds, among others, within your ears. For the majority of people, tinnitus will not have a significant impact on their lives besides being a simple irritation. But this is not the case with everyone who has tinnitus. For some, it can cause them to lose sleep, to disengage socially, and to have a hard time working.
What’s The Main Cause of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus remains somewhat of a mystery, but this problem has been narrowed down to a handful of causes. It appears mostly in people who have damaged hearing, and also people who have heart problems. It’s believed that tinnitus comes about due to restricted blood flow around the ears, which makes the heart pump blood harder so that it can get where it needs to go. People who have iron-deficiency anemia often suffer from tinnitus symptoms since their blood cells don’t carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, once again, works the heart harder to deliver nutrients to the correct place, often leading to tinnitus.
Tinnitus also happens as a symptom of other conditions, like Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. All of these ailments affect the hearing and result in scenarios where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. At times treatment can be challenging when the cause of tinnitus is not easily discernible, but that doesn’t mean treatment isn’t possible.
What Treatments Are Available For Tinnitus?
Depending on the underlying cause of your tinnitus, there may be several possible treatment options. 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 possibility for your tinnitus to improve or go away altogether.
Research has shown that hearing aids help mask tinnitus in people who have hearing loss.
If masking the noise isn’t helpful, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven to help people deal with the ringing in their ears that does not disappear with other treatments. This kind of mental health therapy helps patients change their negative ideas about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that will help them function normally on a day to day basis.