Let’s set the stage: You’re lying in bed attempting to sleep after a long stressful day. Your eyelids are starting to get heavy and you recognize that sleep is right around the corner. Then as you lie there in the quiet of the night, you begin to notice the sound of buzzing in your ears. You’re certain it’s nothing in your bedroom because the TV, radio, and phone are all off. No, this noise is coming from within your ears and you don’t know how to make it stop.
If this scenario has happened to you, then it’s likely that you’re one of the 50 million people that suffer from tinnitus. Buzzing, ringing, and a variety of other noises will be heard in your ears when you suffer from this problem. For most people, tinnitus will not have a substantial affect on their lives besides being a simple annoyance. But this is not the situation with everyone who suffers from tinnitus. For some, it can cause them to lose sleep, to disengage socially, and to have a hard time working.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus remains somewhat of a mystery, but this problem has been narrowed down to a few causes. It’s most common in people who have damaged hearing, as well as people who suffer from heart conditions. It’s believed that tinnitus occurs due to reduced 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 often experience tinnitus symptoms because their blood cells do not 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 happens as a symptom of other conditions, such as Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. Scenarios where tinnitus becomes more pronounced occur with all of these condition because they all affect the hearing. In other situations, there might not be an easily discernible cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment difficult, but not impossible.
What Treatments Are Available For Tinnitus?
Depending on the root cause of your tinnitus, there may be several possible treatment options. One significant thing to take note of, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. But these treatments can still present a good possibility for your tinnitus to improve or go away altogether.
Studies have revealed that hearing aids help mask tinnitus in people who suffer from hearing loss.
If covering up 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 fade away with other treatments. This type of mental health therapy helps people change their negative feelings about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that help them function normally on a day to day basis.