Let’s set the stage: You’re lying in bed attempting to fall asleep after a long stressful day. Your eyelids are getting heavy and you know that your about to fall asleep. Then as you lie there in the quiet of the night, you begin to notice the sound of buzzing in your ears. Your phone, TV, and radio are all switched off so you know it’s nothing in your room. Unfortunately, this sound is in your ears and it won’t stop.
If this situation has happened to you, then odds are that you’re one of the 50 million people who are afflicted by 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 affect on their lives beyond being a simple inconvenience. But this is not the situation with everybody who has tinnitus. For some, it can cause them to Disengage socially, have a hard time working, and to lose sleep.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus remains somewhat of a mystery, but specialists have narrowed down a few causes for this problem. It’s most prevalent in people who have damaged hearing, as well as people who suffer from heart problems. Restricted blood flow around the ears is generally considered to be the main cause of tinnitus. This causes the heart to have to work harder to pump blood to where it’s needed. People who have iron-deficiency anemia commonly experience tinnitus symptoms since 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 occurs as a result of other conditions, like ear infections, canal blockages, and Meniere’s disease. All of these ailments affect the hearing and result in scenarios where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. In other situations, there may not be an easily discernible cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment challenging, but not impossible.
What Treatments Are Out There For Tinnitus?
Depending on the root cause of your tinnitus, there might be a number of possible treatment options. One important thing to take note of, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. But these treatments can still offer a good possibility for your tinnitus to get better or disappear completely.
Research has revealed that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
If masking the noise doesn’t help, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to help people live with the buzzing in their ears that does not go away with other treatments. This type of mental health treatment helps patients change their negative feelings about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that help them function normally on an every day basis.