Learning to live with tinnitus is often how you manage it. To help tune it out you leave the television on. You avoid going dancing because the loud music at the bar makes your tinnitus worse for days after. You’re constantly trying new treatments and strategies with your hearing care expert. You simply fold tinnitus into your everyday life eventually.
Tinnitus has no cure so you feel powerless. Changes might be coming, however. New research published in PLOS Biology seems to give hope that we might be getting closer to a permanent and effective cure for tinnitus.
Tinnitus normally manifests as a buzzing or ringing in the ear (although, tinnitus might be experienced as other noises too) that do not have a concrete cause. A condition that impacts over 50 million people in the United States alone, it’s remarkably common for people to have tinnitus.
It’s also a symptom, in general, and not a cause in and of itself. In other words, tinnitus is triggered by something else – tinnitus symptoms are the result of some root problem. One of the reasons why a “cure” for tinnitus is evasive is that these underlying causes can be difficult to pin down. Tinnitus symptoms can appear due to quite a few reasons.
True, the majority of people attribute tinnitus to loss of hearing of some kind, but even that link is uncertain. There’s a link, certainly, but not all people who suffer from tinnitus also have hearing loss (and vice versa).
A New Culprit: Inflammation
Dr. Shaowen Bao, who is associate professor of physiology at Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscon has recently published research. Dr. Bao performed experiments on mice who had tinnitus induced by noise-induced hearing loss. And a new culprit for tinnitus was revealed by her and her team: inflammation.
Inflammation was found around the brain centers responsible for hearing when scans were done to these mice. These tests indicate that noise-induced hearing loss is causing some unknown damage because inflammation is the body’s response to damage.
But this discovery of inflammation also brings about the possibility of a new form of therapy. Because we know (generally speaking) how to deal with inflammation. The tinnitus symptoms disappear when the mice were treated for inflammation. Or, at least, those symptoms weren’t observable any longer
So is There a Pill For Tinnitus?
If you take a patient enough viewpoint, you can definitely look at this study and see how, one day, there may easily be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine that–instead of investing in these various coping mechanisms, you can just pop a pill in the morning and keep your tinnitus at bay.
There are a few obstacles but that is certainly the goal:
- All new approaches need to be confirmed to be safe; these inflammation blocking medications could have unsafe side effects that could take some time to identify.
- There are a number of causes for tinnitus; it’s hard to know (at this point) whether all or even most tinnitus is related to inflammation of some type.
- These experiments were first performed on mice. And it will be a while before this particular approach is safe and approved for people.
So, a pill to treat tinnitus may be a long way off. But it isn’t impossible. That should bring anybody who has tinnitus substantial hope. And other techniques are also being researched. That cure gets closer and closer with every bit of knowledge and every new finding.
Ca Anything be Done Now?
You might have hope for an eventual tinnitus pill but that won’t give you any comfort for your constant buzzing or ringing now. Modern treatments might not “cure” your tinnitus but they do provide real results.
Some techniques include noise-cancellation units or cognitive therapies manufactured to help you brush aside the sounds connected to your tinnitus. You don’t have to wait for a cure to get relief, you can find help dealing with your tinnitus now. Spending less time stressing about the ringing or buzzing in your ears and more time doing what you love is the reason why you need to let us help you find a treatment that works for you. Get in touch with us for a consultation today.