Figuring out how to live with tinnitus is often how you manage it. To help tune it out you keep the television on. You avoid going dancing because the loudness of the bar causes your tinnitus to get worse for days after. You’re regularly trying new therapies and techniques with your specialist. You just work tinnitus into your daily life after a while.
Tinnitus doesn’t have a cure so you feel helpless. Changes may be coming, however. New research published in PLOS Biology suggests that an effective and permanent cure for tinnitus could be coming.
Causes of Tinnitus
Tinnitus commonly is experienced as a buzzing or ringing in the ear (though, tinnitus may be present as other sounds too) that do not have an objective cause. A problem that impacts over 50 million people in the United States alone, it’s very common for people to have tinnitus.
And it’s not a cause itself but an indication of something else. In other words, something causes tinnitus – there’s an underlying issue that brings about tinnitus symptoms. One of the reasons why a “cure” for tinnitus is elusive is that these root causes can be difficult to pin down. Tinnitus symptoms can manifest due to numerous reasons.
True, most people connect tinnitus to hearing loss of some type, but even that link is unclear. There is some link but there are some people who have tinnitus and don’t have any hearing loss.
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 caused by noise-induced loss of hearing. And what she and her team observed suggests a new tinnitus culprit: inflammation.
Inflammation was seen in the brain centers responsible for hearing when scans were done to these mice. These Scans indicate that noise-induced hearing loss is causing some unknown injury because inflammation is the body’s response to damage.
But a new kind of treatment is also made possible by these results. Because we understand (generally speaking) how to deal with inflammation. When the mice were given medication that inhibited the detected inflammation response, the symptoms of tinnitus faded away. Or, at a minimum, those symptoms were no longer observable.
So is There a Pill For Tinnitus?
One day there will most likely be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine that–instead of investing in these various coping elements, you can just pop a pill in the morning and keep your tinnitus at bay.
That’s definitely the objective, but there are different big obstacles in the way:
- To begin with, these experiments were conducted on mice. And there’s a long way to go before this particular strategy is safe and approved for humans.
- Any new approach needs to be proven safe; it could take a while to determine specific side effects, complications, or challenges related to these specific inflammation-blocking medications.
- There are many causes for tinnitus; Whether any particular types of tinnitus are associated with inflammation is still not certain.
So it could be pretty far off before we get a pill to treat tinnitus. But at least now it’s feasible. If you suffer from tinnitus now, that signifies a tremendous increase in hope. And, clearly, this strategy in managing tinnitus is not the only one currently being researched. That cure gets closer and closer with every bit of practical knowledge and every new finding.
What Can You do Today?
You may have hope for an eventual tinnitus pill but that isn’t going to give you any relief for your prolonged buzzing or ringing right now. There are current treatments for tinnitus that can deliver real results, even if they don’t really “cure” the root issue.
Being able to tune out or ignore tinnitus sounds, oftentimes employing noise canceling headphones or cognitive techniques is what modern methods are trying to do. A cure might be a number of years away, but that doesn’t mean you have to cope with tinnitus by yourself or unaided. 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 discover a treatment that works for you. Schedule your appointment right away.