Let’s set the scene: You’re lying in bed trying to sleep 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. Your TV, radio, and phone are all off so you know it’s nothing inside your room. Unfortunately, this noise is inside 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 are afflicted by tinnitus. This condition makes you hear buzzing, whooshing, and ringing sounds, among others, inside your ears. For most people, tinnitus won’t have a substantial affect on their lives besides being a simple inconvenience. For other individuals, however, tinnitus can be unbearable and cause them to lose sleep and have a hard time engaging in work and recreational activities.
What’s The Primary Cause of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus remains somewhat of a mystery, but this problem has been narrowed down to a handful of causes. It appears commonly in people who have damaged hearing, and also people who suffer from heart problems. Restricted blood flow around the ears is commonly thought to be the main 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 frequently experience tinnitus symptoms because their blood cells don’t 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, such as Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. All of these ailments affect the hearing and lead to situations where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. Sometimes treatment can be challenging when the cause of tinnitus is not easily discernible, but that doesn’t mean treatment is impossible.
How Can Tinnitus be Managed?
There are several treatments available to help stop the ringing in your ears, all dependent on the underlying cause of your tinnitus. One relevant thing to note, however, is that there is currently no known cure for tinnitus. But these treatments can still present a good chance for your tinnitus to improve or disappear completely.
Research has revealed that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
If masking the noise doesn’t help, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven to help people deal with the buzzing in their ears that does not fade away with other treatments. This type of mental health therapy helps patients change their negative feelings about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that help them function normally on a regular basis.