Let’s set the stage: You’re lying in bed trying to fall asleep after a long tiring day. You feel yourself starting 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 know it’s nothing in your room because the TV, radio, and phone have all been turned off. No, this noise is coming from inside your ears and you’re not sure how to stop it.
If this situation 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 ringing, buzzing, and whooshing sounds, among others, within your ears. Most people suffering from tinnitus consider it a mere annoyance; they notice it now and again but it doesn’t really impact their day-to-day lives. For others, however, tinnitus can be unbearable and cause them to lose sleep and have difficulty doing work and recreational activities.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is still a bit of a mystery, but this condition has been narrowed down to a few causes. It’s most common in people who have damaged hearing, as well as individuals who suffer from heart conditions. Reduced blood flow around the ears is commonly 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 often experience tinnitus symptoms since their blood cells do not carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, once again, works the heart harder to deliver nutrients to the correct place, often resulting in tinnitus.
Tinnitus also occurs as a result of other conditions, like Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. Situations where tinnitus becomes more pronounced happen with all of these condition because they all affect the hearing. Sometimes 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 root cause of your tinnitus, there might be a number of possible treatment choices. One significant thing to take note of, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. Despite this fact, there’s still a good chance that your tinnitus will get better or even go away completely due to these treatments.
Research has shown that hearing aids help mask tinnitus in individuals who have hearing loss.
If covering up the noise doesn’t help, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven to help people deal with the buzzing in their ears that doesn’t fade away with other treatments. This mental health type of treatment can help people who suffer from tinnitus to function more normally on a day to day basis by helping them change their negative thoughts into a more positive outlook.