Learning to live with tinnitus is often how you manage it. You keep the television on to help you tune out the constant ringing. And loud music at bars is causing your hearing loss to get worse so you stay away from going dancing. You’re constantly trying new therapies and strategies with your hearing care expert. You simply fold tinnitus into your daily life after a while.
For the most part, that’s because there isn’t any cure for tinnitus. Changes could be coming, however. New research published in PLOS Biology seems to offer promise that we may be getting closer to a permanent and effective cure for tinnitus.
You’re suffering from tinnitus if you hear a buzzing or ringing (or sometimes other sounds) with no apparent cause. A problem that impacts over 50 million people in the United States alone, tinnitus is exceptionally common.
And it’s not a cause itself but a symptom of some other problem. Simply put, tinnitus is triggered by something else – tinnitus symptoms are the outcome of some underlying problem. These root causes can be difficult to diagnose and that’s one reason why a cure is challenging. Tinnitus symptoms can appear due to numerous reasons.
True, most people attribute tinnitus to hearing loss of some kind, but even that link is unclear. There’s a connection, sure, but not all people who suffer from tinnitus also have hearing loss (and vice versa).
A New Culprit: Inflammation
Dr. Shaowen Bao, who is associate professor of physiology at Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscon has recently released a study. Mice that had tinnitus brought about by noise induced hearing loss were experimented on by Dr. Bao. And what she and her team found out indicates a new tinnitus culprit: inflammation.
Inflammation was seen around the brain centers responsible for hearing when scans were done to these mice. These Scans suggest that noise-induced hearing loss is producing some unidentified damage because inflammation is the body’s response to damage.
But a new form of treatment is also made available by these findings. Because we know (generally speaking) how to handle inflammation. The tinnitus symptoms went away when the mice were treated for inflammation. Or at the very least there were no longer observable symptoms of tinnitus.
So is There a Pill For Tinnitus?
One day there will likely be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine that–rather than investing in these various coping elements, you can just pop a pill in the morning and keep your tinnitus under control.
There are a few obstacles but that is certainly the goal:
- Not everybody’s tinnitus will happen the same way; Which specific types of tinnitus are related to inflammation is still not certain.
- We still have to establish whether any new method is safe; it may take some time to determine precise side effects, concerns, or problems related to these specific inflammation-blocking medications.
- These experiments were performed first on mice. And there’s a long way to go before this particular method is safe and approved for people.
So it could be a long way off before we get a pill to treat tinnitus. But at least now it’s feasible. If you suffer from tinnitus now, that represents a substantial boost in hope. And, clearly, this strategy in dealing with tinnitus is not the only one currently being studied. Every new discovery, every new bit of knowledge, brings that cure for tinnitus a little bit nearer.
What Can You do Today?
You could have hope for an eventual tinnitus pill but that won’t give you any relief for your persistent buzzing or ringing right now. Modern treatments might not “cure” your tinnitus but they do give real results.
Some methods include noise-cancellation devices or cognitive therapies manufactured to help you brush aside the noises connected to your tinnitus. A cure might be a number of years off, but that doesn’t mean you have to deal with tinnitus on your own or unassisted. Discovering a therapy that works can help you spend more time doing what you enjoy, and less time thinking about that buzzing or ringing in your ears. Make your appointment today.