Let’s set the stage: you’re in your bed at night attempting to relax after a long, tiring day. You feel yourself beginning to drift off to sleep. Then as you’re lying there in the quiet of the night, you start to notice the sound of buzzing in your ears. You’re certain it’s nothing in your bedroom because the radio, TV, and phone are all off. Unfortunately, this noise is inside your ears and it won’t stop.
If this situation has happened to you, then odds are that you’re one of the 50 million people who are afflicted by tinnitus. Buzzing, ringing, and various other sounds will be heard in your ears when you have this problem. Most people suffering from tinnitus think of it as a mere irritation; it comes and goes but doesn’t really impact their daily lives. For other individuals, unfortunately, tinnitus can be devastating and cause them to lose sleep and have a hard time performing work and recreational activities.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus remains somewhat of a mystery, but experts have focused in on a few triggers for this condition. It’s most common in people who have damaged hearing, and also people who suffer from heart conditions. It’s believed that tinnitus happens due to restricted 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 commonly suffer from tinnitus symptoms since their blood cells don’t carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, again, makes the heart work extra hard to get oxygen and other nutrients where they need to go.
Tinnitus also occurs as a result of other conditions, such as ear infections, canal blockages, and Meniere’s disease. All of these conditions affect the hearing and result in situations where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. In some cases treatment can be difficult when the cause of tinnitus isn’t easily discernible, but that doesn’t mean treatment is impossible.
How Can Tinnitus be Managed?
Depending on the root cause of your tinnitus, there might be several possible treatment choices. One relevant thing to take note of, however, is that there is currently no known cure for tinnitus. Despite this fact, there’s still an excellent chance that your tinnitus will improve or even disappear altogether due to these treatments.
Research has shown that hearing aids help mask tinnitus in people who have hearing loss.
If covering up the noise doesn’t help, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven to help people live with the buzzing in their ears that doesn’t disappear with other treatments. This kind of mental health treatment helps people turn their negative feelings about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that will help them function normally on a day to day basis.