It feels like the makings of a Black Mirror episode: to hear a continual cacophony without any exterior cause of noise. But that is an example of art imitating life. People who live with tinnitus experience this as reality. Around one in ten Americans have endured prolonged bouts of tinnitus in the last four years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tinnitus can impact people of all ages and in many given populations. Anyone could be affected by this illness. However, the group of people with the largest occurrence of tinnitus are veterans. More than two and a half million veterans receive disability benefits for this reason, making it the leading ailment for this population.
Despite the fact that the symptoms can occur without a connection to hearing loss, those with hearing loss are considerably more likely to also have tinnitus.
Tinnitus patients can feel a wide range of sound displays in their ears and brains even in the absence of a sound source, yet we refer to these symptoms as “a ringing in the ears” as a brief way of description. People have reported hearing noises such as whooshing, clicking, static, and even ocean waves.
Tinnitus affects people differently and can have a range of consequences, from extremely minor to catastrophic. Tinnitus is a condition that some people have for years while only finding it to be a slight annoyance. More respondents mention mild life interruptions, noting issues including distraction, restlessness, fatigue, and tension. Tinnitus may be a crippling catastrophe and an intolerable burden for an unfortunate minority of people.
In an interesting turn, tinnitus isn’t actually a disease in and of itself. Instead, it is a symptom of another ailment.
What Causes Tinnitus?
One of the main reasons for tinnitus, as you would have suspected, is hearing loss. Physical head and ear injuries, diseases, ototoxic drugs (those that impair the tissues and function of the ear), and even wax buildup in the ear canal are other typical causes of tinnitus in humans.
It has become clearer as we continue to realize the intense synchronicity between bodily systems that even circulatory problems can produce tinnitus by limiting blood supply to the inner ear.
There are rare conditions that bring with it the reality of tinnitus, such as Menière disease. This rare disorder occurs when the inner ear collects an increased buildup of fluids.
Professions With High Incidences Of Tinnitus
When exposure to loud noises causes hearing damage, there seems to be a particularly significant correlation between hearing loss and tinnitus. That’s why the military, which carries a large burden of risk as far as noise-induced hearing loss is concerned, also results in a tremendous load of tinnitus-related disability cases.
The stage is another perfect storm for tinnitus. Musicians like Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Pete Townshend of The Who have publicly spoken about their tinnitus ordeals and its interruption of their musical careers. Martin, who is still in the early stages of his profession, now always wears specialized ear protection when performing to prevent future damage to his hearing. Rocker Huey Lewis has stopped performing because of Meineire’s Disease, which causes tinnitus problems.
How We Treat Tinnitus
Treating the underlying cause of tinnitus is successful in eliminating the symptoms in an overwhelming majority of cases. This indicates that eliminating ear wax, treating an infection, recovering from trauma, or discontinuing the use of ototoxic drugs will entirely cure tinnitus.
When conventional treatments fail to alleviate symptoms, many patients look to complementary approaches such as mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy for relief. Pranayama, which is a series of yogic breathing methods, have also been utilized as a treatment for tinnitus. In scientific research, each of these modalities has been shown to successfully alleviate the stress reaction to symptoms, so that people can return to enjoying their lives.
It has come to the attention of the scientific community in recent years that supplementing the diet with vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B-12, may help reduce the severity of some symptoms.
Treating the underlying hearing loss will, for the vast majority of persons who experience tinnitus symptoms, lower the severity of the symptoms to a point where they are more bearable, if not eliminate them entirely. In addition to treating the underlying cause of tinnitus, which is hearing loss, which in turn gives a reduction in symptoms, hearing aids with customized programs to emit white noise can lessen the severity of tinnitus symptoms.
Let Us Help With Tinnitus
If you are experiencing tinnitus symptoms, you should consult a medical practitioner as soon as possible because these symptoms could be an indication of a more serious underlying health problem.
Make an appointment for a consultation right now to talk with our highly qualified audiology experts. Together, we will do everything in our power to alleviate the symptoms of your tinnitus so that you can return to your vibrant life.