Let’s set the scene: You’re lying in bed trying to fall asleep after a long tiring day. Your eyelids are starting to get heavy and you recognize that your about to fall asleep. Then you hear it: a buzzing sound in your ears. You know it’s nothing in your bedroom because the radio, TV, and phone are all off. Unfortunately, this noise is in your ears and it won’t 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. This condition makes you hear ringing, buzzing, and whooshing sounds, among others, inside your ears. Most people suffering from tinnitus consider it a mere irritation; it comes and goes but doesn’t really impact their day-to-day lives. But this is not the case with everyone who is suffering 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 is still a bit of a mystery, but experts have narrowed down a few triggers for this condition. It’s most common in individuals who have damaged hearing, and also people who suffer from heart conditions. Reduced blood flow around the ears is generally considered to be the underlying cause of tinnitus. This causes the heart to work harder to pump blood to where it’s needed. People who have iron-deficiency anemia frequently suffer from tinnitus symptoms since 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, like Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. Situations where tinnitus becomes more pronounced occur with all of these condition because they all impact the hearing. In other situations, there may not be an easily discernible cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment difficult, but not impossible.
How Can Tinnitus be Managed?
There are several treatments available to help stop the ringing in your ears, all depending on the underlying cause of your tinnitus. One important thing to take note of, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. But these treatments will still offer a good chance for your tinnitus to improve or go away completely.
Studies have shown that hearing aids help cover up tinnitus in people who have hearing loss.
If masking the noise doesn’t help, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven to help people live with the ringing in their ears that does not disappear with other treatments. This mental health style of therapy can help people who are afflicted by tinnitus to function more normally on an everyday basis by helping them transform their negative thoughts into a more positive outlook.