Let’s set the scene: you’re in your bed at night attempting to relax after a long, exhausting day. Your eyelids are getting heavy and you know that sleep is right around the corner. Then you hear it: a buzzing sound inside your ears. You know it’s nothing in your bedroom because the radio, TV, and phone are all off. Unfortunately, this sound is in your ears and it won’t go away.
If this scenario sounds familiar, then it’s likely 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, inside your ears. For most people, tinnitus won’t have a substantial impact on their lives besides being a simple inconvenience. For other individuals, unfortunately, tinnitus can be devastating and cause them to lose sleep and have difficulty performing work and recreational activities.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is still a bit of a mystery, but this problem has been narrowed down to a few causes. It’s most prevalent in individuals who have damaged hearing, and also individuals who suffer from heart problems. It’s believed that tinnitus happens due to restricted 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 commonly experience tinnitus symptoms since their blood cells do not carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, once again, works the heart harder to get nutrients to the correct place, often leading to tinnitus.
Tinnitus also occurs as a result of other conditions, like Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. All of these conditions affect the hearing and result in situations where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. In other cases, there may not be an easily discernible cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment challenging, but not impossible.
What Treatments Are Available For Tinnitus?
There are several treatments out there to help stop the ringing in your ears, all dependent on the underlying cause of your tinnitus. One relevant thing to take note of, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. Despite this fact, there’s still an excellent chance that your tinnitus will get better or even disappear altogether because of these treatments.
Studies have shown that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in individuals who have hearing loss.
If covering up the noise isn’t helpful, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven to help people live with the buzzing in their ears that doesn’t fade away with other treatments. This type of mental health treatment helps patients turn their negative ideas about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that will help them function normally on a day to day basis.