Let’s set the stage: you’re in your bed at night trying to chill out after a long, tiring day. Your eyelids are getting heavy and you know that sleep is right around the corner. Then you start to hear it: a ringing sound in your ears. You’re certain it’s nothing in your bedroom because the TV, radio, and phone have all been turned off. Unfortunately, this noise is inside your ears and it won’t go away.
If this scenario has happened to you, then odds are that you’re one of the 50 million people that suffer from tinnitus. Ringing, Buzzing, and a variety of other noises will be heard inside of your ears when you suffer from this condition. For most people, tinnitus will not have a significant impact on their lives besides being a simple irritation. But this is not the case with everybody who suffers 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 remains somewhat of a mystery, but this condition has been narrowed down to a handful of causes. It’s most prevalent in individuals who have damaged hearing, as well as individuals who have heart conditions. It’s believed that tinnitus happens due to limited blood flow around the ears, which makes the heart pump blood harder in order for it to get where it needs to go. People who have iron-deficiency anemia commonly suffer from tinnitus symptoms because their blood cells do not carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, once again, works the heart harder to deliver nutrients to the right place, often resulting in tinnitus.
Tinnitus also happens as a symptom of other conditions, like ear infections, canal blockages, and Meniere’s disease. All of these ailments affect the hearing and result in situations where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. In other cases, there might not be an easily discernible cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment challenging, but not impossible.
How Can Tinnitus be Treated?
There are a few treatments available to help stop the buzzing in your ears, all dependent on the root cause of your tinnitus. One important thing to note, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. In spite of this fact, there’s still an excellent chance that your tinnitus will improve or even fade away completely because of these treatments.
Studies have shown that hearing aids help mask tinnitus in people who have hearing loss.
If covering up the noise doesn’t help, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been confirmed to help people deal with the buzzing in their ears that doesn’t fade away with other treatments. This type of mental health therapy helps people change their negative feelings about tinnitus into more positive, realistic thoughts that will help them function normally on a day to day basis.