Let’s set the stage: you’re in your bed at night attempting to chill out 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 buzzing in your ears. Your TV, radio, and phone are all off so you’re sure it’s nothing inside your room. Unfortunately, this sound is inside your ears and it won’t go away.
If this scenario sounds familiar, then odds are that you’re one of the 50 million people that suffer from tinnitus. This condition causes you to hear buzzing, whooshing, and ringing sounds, among others, in your ears. For most people, tinnitus will not have a substantial impact on their lives besides being a simple irritation. For other people, however, tinnitus can be unbearable and cause them to lose sleep and have difficulty doing work and recreational activities.
What’s The Primary Cause of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is still a bit of a mystery, but experts have narrowed down a few triggers for this problem. It’s most prevalent in individuals who have damaged hearing, as well as individuals who suffer from heart problems. It’s believed that tinnitus happens due to reduced blood flow around the ears, which causes the heart to pump blood harder so that it can get where it needs to go. People who have iron-deficiency anemia frequently 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 right place, often resulting in tinnitus.
Tinnitus also happens as a symptom of other conditions, such as Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. All of these conditions affect the hearing and lead to situations where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. Sometimes treatment can be challenging when the cause of tinnitus is not easily discernible, but that doesn’t mean treatment is impossible.
How Can Tinnitus be Treated?
Depending on the root cause of your tinnitus, there might be a number of possible treatment choices. One important thing to take note of, however, is that there is currently no known cure for tinnitus. But these treatments will still present a good possibility for your tinnitus to improve or go away altogether.
Research has revealed 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 confirmed to help people live with the buzzing in their ears that doesn’t disappear with other treatments. This kind of mental health therapy helps people turn their negative feelings about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that will help them function normally on a day to day basis.