Let’s set the stage: You’re lying in bed trying to fall asleep after a long exhausting day. You feel yourself starting to drift off to sleep. Then you start to hear it: a ringing sound inside your ears. Your TV, radio, and phone are all switched off so you’re sure it’s nothing inside your room. Unfortunately, this sound is in your ears and it won’t go away.
If this scenario has happened to you, then odds are that you’re one of the 50 million people who suffer from tinnitus. This condition makes you hear buzzing, whooshing, and ringing sounds, among others, in your ears. Most people suffering from tinnitus think of it as a mere irritation; it comes and goes but doesn’t really affect their day-to-day lives. But this is not the case with everyone who is suffering from 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 remains somewhat of a mystery, but experts have focused in on a few causes for this condition. It shows up mostly in people who have damaged hearing, as well as people who suffer from heart problems. It’s believed that tinnitus comes about due to limited blood flow around the ears, which causes the heart to pump blood harder so that it can get where it needs to go. People who have iron-deficiency anemia often suffer from tinnitus symptoms since their blood cells do not carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, once again, makes the heart work overtime 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 conditions impact 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 difficult, but not impossible.
How Can Tinnitus be Managed?
Depending on the root cause of your tinnitus, there may be a number of possible treatment choices. One important thing to take note of, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. But these treatments will still offer a good chance for your tinnitus to improve or disappear altogether.
Studies have revealed that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
If masking the noise isn’t helpful, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been confirmed to help people live with the buzzing in their ears that does not disappear with other treatments. This type of mental health treatment helps people change their negative feelings about tinnitus into more positive, realistic thoughts that help them function normally on an every day basis.