Let’s set the stage: You’re lying in bed attempting to sleep after a long exhausting day. Your eyelids are starting to get heavy and you recognize that your about to fall asleep. Then you start to hear it: a ringing sound inside your ears. Your phone, TV, and radio are all off so you’re sure it’s nothing in your room. No, this noise is coming from within your ears and you’re not sure how to make it stop.
If this scenario sounds familiar, then it’s likely that you’re one of the 50 million people who have tinnitus. Buzzing, ringing, and a variety of other noises will be heard in your ears when you suffer from this condition. For most people, tinnitus won’t have a substantial impact on their lives beyond being a simple irritation. For other people, unfortunately, tinnitus can be unbearable and cause them to lose sleep and have a hard time engaging in work and social activities.
What’s The Primary Cause of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus remains somewhat of a mystery, but this problem has been narrowed down to a few causes. It’s most prevalent in people who have damaged hearing, and also individuals who have heart problems. Reduced blood flow around the ears is generally believed to be the underlying cause of tinnitus. This causes the heart to have to work harder to pump blood to where it’s needed. People who have iron-deficiency anemia often suffer from tinnitus symptoms since their blood cells do not carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, again, works the heart harder to get nutrients to the right place, often leading to tinnitus.
Tinnitus also happens as a symptom of other conditions, like Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. All of these ailments affect the hearing and lead to scenarios where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. In some cases treatment can be challenging when the cause of tinnitus is not evident, but that doesn’t mean treatment is impossible.
How Can Tinnitus be Treated?
There are a number of treatments out there to help stop the ringing in your ears, all depending on the root cause of your tinnitus. One significant thing to note, however, is that there is currently no known cure for tinnitus. In spite of this fact, there’s still an excellent chance that your tinnitus will get better or even fade away altogether due to these treatments.
Research has shown that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in people who have hearing loss.
If masking the noise doesn’t help, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to help people deal with the ringing in their ears that does not go away with other treatments. This kind of mental health therapy helps patients turn their negative ideas about tinnitus into more positive, realistic thoughts that will help them function normally on a regular basis.