Let’s set the scene: You’re lying in bed trying to sleep after a long stressful day. You feel yourself beginning to drift off to sleep. Then as you lie there in the quiet of the night, you begin to notice the sound of ringing in your ears. Your phone, TV, and radio are all turned off so you know it’s nothing inside your room. No, this sound is coming from inside your ears and you don’t know how to stop it.
If this situation sounds familiar, then it’s likely that you’re one of the 50 million people who are afflicted by tinnitus. This problem causes you to hear buzzing, whooshing, and ringing sounds, among others, inside your ears. For most people, tinnitus won’t have a substantial impact on their lives besides being a simple annoyance. But this is not the case with everybody who has tinnitus. For some, it can cause them to lose sleep, to disengage socially, and to have a hard time working.
What’s The Main Cause of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is still a bit of a mystery, but this problem has been narrowed down to a handful of causes. It shows up mostly in individuals who have damaged hearing, and also individuals who suffer from heart conditions. It’s believed that tinnitus comes about due to reduced blood flow around the ears, which causes the heart to pump blood harder in order for it to get where it needs to go. People who have iron-deficiency anemia frequently experience tinnitus symptoms because their blood cells don’t carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, again, works the heart harder to deliver nutrients to the correct place, often leading to tinnitus.
Tinnitus also occurs as a result of other conditions, such as Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. All of these ailments impact the hearing and result in situations where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. In some cases treatment can be challenging when the cause of tinnitus isn’t evident, but that doesn’t mean treatment isn’t possible.
What Treatments Are Out There For Tinnitus?
There are a number of treatments available to help stop the ringing in your ears, all dependent on the root cause of your tinnitus. One important thing to take note of, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. Despite this fact, there’s still an excellent possibility that your tinnitus will get better or even fade away completely because of these treatments.
Research has shown that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in people who have hearing loss.
If masking the noise isn’t helpful, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to help people deal with the ringing in their ears that doesn’t fade away with other treatments. This mental health style of therapy can help people who are afflicted by tinnitus to function more normally on a day to day basis by helping them change their negative thinking into a more positive mindset.