Learning to live with tinnitus is often how you manage it. To help tune it out you keep the television on. And loud music at bars is causing your hearing loss to get worse so you avoid going dancing. You consult with specialists regularly to try new treatments and new strategies. You simply fold tinnitus into your everyday life eventually.
Tinnitus has no cure so you feel powerless. But that may be changing. New research published in PLOS Biology suggests that an effective and permanent cure for tinnitus may be on the horizon.
Causes of Tinnitus
You’re suffering from tinnitus if you hear a ringing or buzzing (or in some cases other sounds) with no apparent cause. A condition that impacts over 50 million people in the United States alone, it’s very common for people to have tinnitus.
It’s also a symptom, in general, and not a cause unto itself. In other words, something causes tinnitus – there’s a root problem that creates tinnitus symptoms. One of the reasons why a “cure” for tinnitus is evasive is that these root causes can be challenging to pin down. Tinnitus symptoms can manifest due to a number of reasons.
True, most people attribute tinnitus to hearing loss of some kind, but even that relationship is unclear. There is some link but some people have tinnitus and don’t have any loss of hearing.
A New Culprit: Inflammation
Dr. Shaowen Bao, who is associate professor of physiology at Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscon has recently released research. Dr. Bao performed experiments on mice who had tinnitus induced by noise-induced hearing loss. And a new culprit for tinnitus was uncovered by her and her team: inflammation.
According to the scans and tests done on these mice, inflammation was found across the areas of the brain in control of hearing. These Scans reveal that noise-induced hearing loss is producing some unidentified damage because inflammation is the body’s response to damage.
But a new kind of approach is also made available by these discoveries. Because we know (generally speaking) how to deal with inflammation. The tinnitus symptoms went away when the mice were treated for inflammation. Or, at least, those symptoms weren’t observable any longer
So is There a Pill to Treat Tinnitus?
One day there will most likely be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine if keeping your tinnitus under control was a simple matter of taking your morning medication and you could avoid all of the coping mechanisms you need to do now.
There are a few obstacles but that is certainly the goal:
- There are a number of causes for tinnitus; Whether any specific forms of tinnitus are related to inflammation is still not certain.
- Any new approach needs to be proven safe; it may take a while to identify precise side effects, complications, or issues related to these particular inflammation-blocking medications.
- First off, these experiments were conducted on mice. And it will be a while before this particular approach is safe and approved for people.
So it could be a long way off before we have a pill for tinnitus. But it isn’t impossible. That should bring anyone who has tinnitus substantial hope. And other techniques are also being studied. Every new finding, every new bit of knowledge, brings that cure for tinnitus just a little bit nearer.
What Can You do Today?
If you have a persistent ringing or buzzing in your ears today, the promise of a far off pill could give you hope – but probably not relief. There are modern therapies for tinnitus that can give real results, even if they don’t necessarily “cure” the underlying issue.
Some methods include noise-cancellation units or cognitive therapies manufactured to help you brush off the noises connected to your tinnitus. A cure could be several years off, but that doesn’t mean you have to deal with tinnitus on your own or unaided. Spending less time being stressed about the buzzing or ringing in your ears and more time doing what you enjoy is the reason why you need to let us help you find a treatment that works for you. Contact us for a consultation right away.