When you suffer from tinnitus, you learn to cope with it. To help tune it out you keep the television on. And loud music at bars is causing your hearing loss to get worse so you stay away from going dancing. You consult with experts frequently to try out new solutions and new strategies. You simply fold tinnitus into your everyday life eventually.
For the most part, that’s because there’s no cure for tinnitus. But that might be changing. New research published in PLOS Biology shows that an effective and permanent cure for tinnitus could be on the horizon.
You’re suffering from tinnitus if you hear a ringing or buzzing (or sometimes other noises) with no apparent cause. A problem that affects over 50 million people in the United States alone, tinnitus is very common.
And it isn’t a cause itself but an indication of something else. In other words, something triggers tinnitus – tinnitus symptoms are the result of some underlying problem. These underlying causes can be tough to diagnose and that’s one reason why a cure is elusive. Tinnitus symptoms can occur due to numerous reasons.
It is true, most people connect tinnitus to hearing loss of some type, but even that connection is unclear. There’s a correlation, certainly, but not all people who suffer from tinnitus also have hearing loss (and vice versa).
Inflammation: a New Culprit
Dr. Shaowen Bao, who is associate professor of physiology at Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscon has recently released a study. Mice that had tinnitus triggered by noise induced loss of hearing were experimented on by Dr. Bao. And a new culprit for tinnitus was discovered by her and her team: inflammation.
Inflammation was found around the brain centers responsible for hearing when scans were performed on these mice. As inflammation is the body’s response to injury, this finding does indicate that noise-induced hearing loss may be causing some damage we don’t fully understand yet.
But a new form of approach is also opened up by these findings. Because we understand (generally speaking) how to deal with inflammation. When the mice were given drugs that impeded the observed inflammation response, the symptoms of tinnitus faded away. Or at the very least there were no longer observable symptoms of tinnitus.
Does This Mean There’s a Pill to Treat Tinnitus?
One day there will probably be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine that–instead of counting on these various coping elements, you can just pop a pill in the morning and keep your tinnitus at bay.
There are some hurdles but that is certainly the goal:
- To start with, these experiments were done on mice. And it will be a while before this particular approach is safe and approved for people.
- Not everybody’s tinnitus will happen the same way; Which particular forms of tinnitus are related to inflammation is still unclear.
- We still have to prove if any new approach is safe; it might take a while to determine specific side effects, complications, or issues related to these particular inflammation-blocking medications.
So, a pill for tinnitus may be a long way off. But it isn’t impossible. If you suffer from tinnitus now, that signifies a significant increase in hope. And other solutions are also being researched. Every new finding, every new bit of understanding, brings that cure for tinnitus just a bit closer.
Ca Anything be Done Now?
If you have a continual ringing or buzzing in your ears today, the potential of a far off pill might provide you with hope – but not necessarily relief. Current treatments might not “cure” your tinnitus but they do produce real results.
Being able to tune out or ignore tinnitus sounds, sometimes employing noise canceling headphones or cognitive therapies is what modern strategies are striving to do. You don’t need to wait for a cure to get relief, you can find help dealing with your tinnitus right now. Spending less time worrying about the buzzing or ringing in your ears and more time doing what you enjoy is the reason why you should let us help you find a treatment that works for you. Contact us for a consultation today.