Let’s set the scene: You’re lying in bed trying to fall asleep after a long stressful day. Your eyelids are starting to get heavy and you know that sleep is right around the corner. Then you hear it: a ringing sound in your ears. You know it’s nothing in your room because the TV, radio, and phone have all been turned off. No, this sound is coming from inside your ears and you’re not sure how to stop it.
If this scenario sounds familiar, then it’s likely that you’re one of the 50 million people that suffer from tinnitus. This condition makes you hear buzzing, whooshing, and ringing sounds, among others, in your ears. Most people suffering from tinnitus think of it as a mere irritation; it comes and goes but doesn’t really affect 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 remains somewhat of a mystery, but experts have focused in on a few triggers for this problem. It’s most common in people who have damaged hearing, as well as people who have heart conditions. Reduced blood flow around the ears is commonly thought to be the main 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 because their blood cells do not carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, again, works the heart harder to get nutrients to the correct place, often resulting in tinnitus.
Tinnitus also happens as a result of other conditions, such as Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. Scenarios where tinnitus becomes more pronounced happen with all of these condition because they all affect the hearing. In other cases, there might not be an evident cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment difficult, but not impossible.
What Treatments Are Available For Tinnitus?
There are several 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 presently no known cure for tinnitus. But these treatments will still offer a good possibility for your tinnitus to get better or disappear altogether.
Studies have shown that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in people who suffer from hearing loss.
If masking the noise doesn’t help, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven to help people deal with the ringing in their ears that doesn’t fade away with other treatments. This kind of mental health treatment helps people turn their negative thoughts about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that help them function normally on an every day basis.