Let’s set the scene: You’re lying in bed attempting to sleep after a long stressful day. Your eyelids are getting heavy and you recognize that your about to fall asleep. Then as you’re lying there in the quiet of the night, you begin to notice the sound of buzzing 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 scenario sounds familiar, then it’s likely that you’re one of the 50 million people that have tinnitus. This problem causes you to hear ringing, buzzing, and whooshing sounds, among others, within your ears. For the majority of people, tinnitus won’t have a significant impact on their lives beyond being a simple annoyance. But this is not the case with everyone who is suffering from tinnitus. For some, it can cause them to lose sleep, to disengage socially, and to have a hard time working.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is still a bit of a mystery, but experts have narrowed down a few causes for this problem. It appears mostly in individuals who have damaged hearing, as well as people who suffer from heart conditions. It’s believed that tinnitus comes about due to reduced 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 suffer from tinnitus symptoms because their blood cells don’t 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 happens as a symptom of other conditions, such as Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. All of these ailments affect the hearing and lead to situations where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. In some cases treatment can be challenging when the cause of tinnitus is not evident, but that doesn’t mean treatment isn’t possible.
Is There Any Cure For Tinnitus?
There are several treatments out there to help stop the buzzing in your ears, all dependent on the underlying cause of your tinnitus. One important thing to note, 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 disappear completely.
Research has revealed that hearing aids help mask tinnitus in individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
If covering up 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 type of mental health therapy helps patients turn their negative ideas about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that help them function normally on a regular basis.