Let’s set the scene: you’re lying in bed at night trying to relax 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 turned off so you know it’s nothing inside your room. Unfortunately, this sound is in your ears and it won’t go away.
If this situation sounds familiar, then it’s likely that you’re one of the 50 million people who have tinnitus. Ringing, Buzzing, and a variety of other sounds will be heard in your ears when you suffer from this condition. For most people, tinnitus will not have a substantial impact on their lives besides being a simple inconvenience. For others, unfortunately, tinnitus can be devastating and cause them to lose sleep and have difficulty doing work and social activities.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus remains somewhat of a mystery, but this problem has been narrowed down to a handful of causes. It shows up commonly in people who have damaged hearing, and also people who have heart conditions. It’s believed that tinnitus occurs due to restricted blood flow around the ears, which causes the heart to pump blood harder in order for it to get where it needs to go. People who have iron-deficiency anemia commonly suffer from tinnitus symptoms because their blood cells do not carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, again, works the heart harder to deliver nutrients to the right place, often leading to tinnitus.
Tinnitus also occurs as a result of other conditions, such as ear infections, canal blockages, and Meniere’s disease. All of these ailments affect the hearing and lead to scenarios where tinnitus becomes more prevalent. At times treatment can be difficult when the cause of tinnitus isn’t easily discernible, but that doesn’t mean treatment isn’t possible.
How Can Tinnitus be Managed?
There are a number of treatments out there to help stop the buzzing in your ears, all depending on the underlying cause of your tinnitus. One significant thing to note, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. But these treatments can still offer a good chance for your tinnitus to get better or disappear altogether.
Research has revealed that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in people who suffer from 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 disappear with other treatments. This mental health style of treatment can help individuals who are afflicted by tinnitus to function more normally on an everyday basis by helping them change their negative thinking into a more positive mindset.