Learning to live with tinnitus is often how you manage it. You keep the television on to help you tune the constant ringing out. You avoid going dancing because the loudness of the bar makes your tinnitus worse for days. You’re always trying new solutions and strategies with your specialist. You just work tinnitus into your daily life eventually.
Tinnitus doesn’t have a cure so you feel powerless. Changes may be coming, however. New research published in PLOS Biology seems to offer hope that we may be getting closer to a permanent and effective cure for tinnitus.
You’re experiencing tinnitus if you hear a buzzing or ringing (or at times other sounds) with no apparent cause. A condition that impacts over 50 million people in the United States alone, tinnitus is exceptionally common.
It’s also a symptom, in general, and not a cause unto itself. Simply put, something triggers tinnitus – tinnitus symptoms are the result of some underlying concern. These root causes can be difficult to diagnose and that’s one reason why a cure is challenging. Tinnitus symptoms can manifest due to quite a few reasons.
Even the association between tinnitus and loss of hearing is not clear although the majority of people connect the two. There is some link but some people have tinnitus and don’t have any hearing loss.
A New Culprit: Inflammation
The new research published in PLOS Biology detailed a study performed by Dr. Shaowen Bao, an associate professor of physiology at the Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscon. Dr. Bao performed experiments on mice who had tinnitus induced by noise-induced loss of hearing. And what she and her team observed suggests a new tinnitus culprit: inflammation.
Inflammation was found in the brain areas used for hearing when scans were performed on these mice. As inflammation is the body’s response to damage, this finding does indicate that noise-induced loss of hearing may be causing some damage we don’t thoroughly understand yet.
But this discovery of inflammation also leads to the opportunity for a new kind of therapy. Because we understand (generally speaking) how to deal with inflammation. The tinnitus symptoms disappear when the mice were treated for inflammation. Or at the very least there were no longer observable symptoms of tinnitus.
Does This Mean There’s a Pill to Treat Tinnitus?
One day there will most likely be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine if keeping your tinnitus at bay was a simple matter of taking your morning medication and you could avoid all of the coping mechanisms you have to do now.
That’s definitely the goal, but there are different huge obstacles in the way:
- We still have to establish whether any new strategy is safe; it might take a while to determine precise side effects, concerns, or issues related to these specific inflammation-blocking medications.
- To begin with, these experiments were performed on mice. And it will be a while before this particular method is safe and authorized for use on people.
- Not everyone’s tinnitus will be caused the same way; it’s hard to understand (for now) whether all or even most tinnitus is associated with inflammation of some type.
So, a pill to treat tinnitus could be a long way off. But it isn’t impossible. That should give anybody who has tinnitus significant hope. And other solutions are also being studied. That cure gets closer and closer with every bit of practical knowledge and every new finding.
What Can You do Today?
If you have a chronic ringing or buzzing in your ears today, the potential of a far off pill might give you hope – but not necessarily relief. Modern treatments might not “cure” your tinnitus but they do offer real results.
Being able to tune out or ignore tinnitus noises, sometimes using noise canceling headphones or cognitive techniques is what modern strategies are trying to do. You don’t have to wait for a cure to get relief, you can find help coping with your tinnitus right now. Spending less time being stressed about the buzzing or ringing in your ears and more time doing what you love is the reason why you need to let us help you discover a treatment that works for you. Get in touch with us for a consultation right away.