Learning to cope with tinnitus is often how you manage it. To help tune it out you keep the television on. You avoid going dancing because the loud music at the bar causes your tinnitus to get worse for days. You’re always trying new solutions and techniques with your specialist. You just work tinnitus into your everyday life eventually.
Tinnitus doesn’t have a cure so you feel helpless. Changes could be coming, however. New research published in PLOS Biology seems to provide hope that we could be getting closer to a permanent and effective cure for tinnitus.
Causes of Tinnitus
You’re dealing with tinnitus if you hear a buzzing or ringing (or sometimes other noises) with no apparent cause. A condition that affects over 50 million people in the United States alone, it’s very common for people to suffer from tinnitus.
And it isn’t a cause itself but a symptom of something else. In other words, tinnitus is triggered by something else – tinnitus symptoms are the result of some root problem. One reason why a “cure” for tinnitus is evasive is that these root causes can be difficult to pin down. Tinnitus symptoms can occur due to quite a few reasons.
Even the link between tinnitus and hearing loss is not clear though most people associate the two. There’s a link, sure, but not all people who suffer from tinnitus also have hearing loss (and vice versa).
A New Culprit: Inflammation
The new study published in PLOS Biology outlined a study performed by Dr. Shaowen Bao, an associate professor of physiology at the Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscon. Dr. Bao did experiments on mice who had tinnitus caused by noise-induced hearing loss. And what she and her team discovered indicates a new tinnitus culprit: inflammation.
According to the scans and tests done on these mice, inflammation was found in the areas of the brain responsible for hearing. These Scans indicate that noise-induced hearing loss is contributing to some unknown damage because inflammation is the body’s response to damage.
But a new form of approach is also opened up by these results. Because we know (generally speaking) how to deal with inflammation. When the mice were given medication that impeded the observed inflammation response, the symptoms of tinnitus faded away. Or at the very least there were no longer observable symptoms of tinnitus.
Does This Mean There’s a Pill for Tinnitus?
One day there will most likely be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine that–rather than investing in these various coping mechanisms, you can just take a pill in the morning and keep your tinnitus under control.
That’s clearly the goal, but there are numerous big hurdles in the way:
- First off, these experiments were done on mice. And there’s a long way to go before this particular method is safe and approved for people.
- There are several causes for tinnitus; Whether any particular types of tinnitus are associated with inflammation is still unclear.
- Any new approach needs to be confirmed to be safe; these inflammation blocking medications could have dangerous side effects that could take some time to identify.
So, a pill for tinnitus could be pretty far off. But it’s no longer impossible. That should offer anybody who has tinnitus significant hope. And other techniques are also being studied. That cure gets closer with every bit of practical knowledge and every new discovery.
Ca Anything be Done Now?
If you have a chronic buzzing or ringing in your ears now, the potential of a far off pill may provide you with hope – but not necessarily relief. There are modern therapies for tinnitus that can produce real results, even if they don’t necessarily “cure” the underlying problem.
Some techniques include noise-cancellation units or cognitive therapies created to help you dismiss the noises connected to your tinnitus. A cure could be several years away, but that doesn’t mean you have to cope with tinnitus alone or unassisted. Spending less time worrying about the buzzing or ringing in your ears and more time doing what you enjoy is the reason why you should let us help you find a treatment that works for you. Set up your appointment right away.