Let’s set the stage: you’re lying in bed at night attempting to relax after a long, exhausting day. You feel yourself beginning to drift off to sleep. Then you hear it: a buzzing sound inside your ears. You’re certain it’s nothing in your room because the TV, radio, and phone are all off. No, this noise is coming from within your ears and you’re not sure how to stop it.
If this situation has happened to you, then it’s likely that you’re one of the 50 million people that are afflicted by tinnitus. Buzzing, ringing, and a range of other sounds will be heard inside of your ears when you have this condition. For most people, tinnitus won’t have a significant impact on their lives besides being a simple annoyance. For other individuals, unfortunately, tinnitus can be devastating and cause them to lose sleep and have difficulty engaging in work and recreational activities.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is still a bit of a mystery, but specialists have focused in on a few triggers for this condition. It’s most prevalent in individuals who have damaged hearing, as well as individuals who suffer from heart conditions. 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 frequently experience tinnitus symptoms since their blood cells do not carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, once 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. All of these ailments impact the hearing and lead to scenarios where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. In other situations, there may not be an evident cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment difficult, but not impossible.
What Treatments Are Available For Tinnitus?
There are a few treatments out there to help stop the ringing in your ears, all dependent on the root cause of your tinnitus. One relevant thing to note, however, is that there is currently no known cure for tinnitus. In spite of this fact, there’s still a good chance that your tinnitus will improve or even fade away altogether because of these treatments.
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 live with the ringing in their ears that doesn’t disappear with other treatments. This type of mental health treatment helps people turn their negative ideas about tinnitus into more positive, realistic thoughts that will help them function normally on a day to day basis.