When you have tinnitus, you learn to deal with it. To help tune it out you leave the television on. You avoid going dancing because the loudness of the bar causes your tinnitus to get worse for days. You’re regularly trying new therapies and techniques with your specialist. You just work tinnitus into your daily life eventually.
Mostly, that’s because there isn’t any cure for tinnitus. But that could be changing. New research published in PLOS Biology seems to offer promise that we could be getting closer to a permanent and reliable cure for tinnitus.
Causes of Tinnitus
You’re suffering from tinnitus if you hear a ringing or buzzing (or sometimes other noises) with no objective cause. A condition that affects over 50 million people in the United States alone, it’s very common for people to suffer from tinnitus.
It’s also a symptom, broadly speaking, and not a cause in and of itself. Simply put, something triggers tinnitus – tinnitus symptoms are the outcome of some underlying concern. These root causes can be hard to diagnose and that’s one reason why a cure is challenging. Tinnitus symptoms can appear due to quite a few reasons.
Even the connection between tinnitus and hearing loss is uncertain even though most people connect the two. There’s a correlation, sure, but not all people who have tinnitus also have loss of hearing (and vice versa).
Inflammation: a New Culprit
Dr. Shaowen Bao, who is associate professor of physiology at Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscon has recently published a study. Dr. Bao performed experiments on mice who had tinnitus induced by noise-induced hearing loss. And what she and her team found out suggests a new tinnitus culprit: inflammation.
Based on the tests and scans performed on these mice, inflammation was found in the parts of the brain responsible for listening. As inflammation is the body’s reaction to injury, this finding does indicate that noise-induced loss of hearing could be creating some harm we don’t fully understand yet.
But this discovery of inflammation also leads to the possibility of a new type of therapy. Because we know (generally speaking) how to deal with inflammation. When the mice were given drugs that impeded the detected inflammation response, the symptoms of tinnitus vanished. Or at the very least there were no longer observable symptoms of tinnitus.
So is There a Pill For Tinnitus?
If you take a patient enough view, you can probably look at this research and see how, one day, there may definitely be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine that–instead of counting on these various coping mechanisms, you can just pop a pill in the morning and keep your tinnitus under control.
There are some hurdles but that is certainly the goal:
- These experiments were first performed on mice. And there’s a long way to go before this particular method is safe and authorized for use on people.
- We still need to establish whether any new strategy is safe; it might take a while to identify precise side effects, complications, or challenges related to these particular inflammation-blocking medications.
- Not everybody’s tinnitus will happen the same way; Which particular types of tinnitus are connected to inflammation is still unclear.
So, a pill to treat tinnitus may be pretty far off. But it’s no longer impossible. If you have tinnitus today, that means a tremendous boost in hope. And other solutions are also being studied. That cure gets closer with every bit of knowledge and every new finding.
What Can You do Today?
You may have hope for an eventual tinnitus pill but that won’t offer you any comfort for your persistent buzzing or ringing right now. Modern treatments may not “cure” your tinnitus but they do offer real results.
Being able to tune out or ignore tinnitus sounds, oftentimes using noise canceling headphones or cognitive therapies is what modern strategies are striving to do. A cure might be a number of years off, but that doesn’t mean you should deal with tinnitus on your own or unassisted. Spending less time stressing about the ringing or buzzing in your ears and more time doing what you love is the reason why you need to let us help you find a therapy that works for you. Make your appointment right away.