Tinnitus is a condition that affects millions of people all over the world. It is a ringing, buzzing or other type of noise that can be heard in one or both ears even when there is no external sound present. For some people, tinnitus is just an annoyance. But for others, it can be extremely debilitating and interfere with their daily life. Unfortunately, there is no cure for tinnitus at this time. In this blog post, we will explore why there is no cure for tinnitus and what researchers are doing to remedy this condition.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. A common problem, tinnitus, affects about 15-20% of people. Tinnitus isn't a condition itself – it's a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.

Although bothersome, tinnitus usually isn't a sign of something serious. Although there's no cure for tinnitus, treatments can help make it less noticeable and easier to manage.

There are two types of tinnitus:

Subjective tinnitus is the most common type and accounts for 95% of cases. It's characterized by noises that originate in your head – such as ringing in your ears – that only you can hear. This type of tinnitus tends to be more pronounced when you're stressed or anxious.

Objective tinnitus is far less common and is characterized by noises that originate from within your body rather than from your environment. This type of tinnitus can be caused by muscle spasms, blood vessel disorders and other conditions. In addition, objective tinnitus is usually more manageable for your hearing instrument specialist to diagnose because they can sometimes hear the noise when conducting a physical examination.

There Are Many Potential Causes of Tinnitus

Age-related hearing loss is the most common cause of tinnitus. It occurs as age and results in a gradual, permanent loss of the ability to hear high-pitched sounds. Ear injury: a sudden, loud noise or blast can cause tinnitus. This type of tinnitus may go away on its own after a few days or weeks, but in some cases, it may be permanent. Other potential causes of tinnitus include:

  • Exposure to loud noises: Loud music, machines and other environmental noises can damage the delicate cells in your inner ear that help you hear. Over time this damage can lead to tinnitus.
  • Head and neck injuries: Tinnitus can sometimes be an early sign of a head or neck injury, such as a concussion. 
  • Medications: Many different medications – both over the counter and prescription drugs – can cause tinnitus as a side effect. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen, antimalarial drugs and chemotherapy medications.
  • Vitamin deficiency: A lack of specific vitamins can lead to tinnitus. This is more common in developing countries where people don't have a varied diet.
  • Neurological disorders: Diseases that affect the brain, such as multiple sclerosis, stroke and tumor, can cause tinnitus.

There is No Known Cure for Tinnitus

There are many treatments available that can help manage tinnitus symptoms, but there is currently no cure. While some people may find relief from their symptoms with self-care measures, others may require medication, sound therapy or other treatments.

Researchers are constantly working to find a cure for tinnitus, but it is a complex condition proven to be challenging to treat. Therefore, it is essential first to understand what causes tinnitus to find a cure. Unfortunately, there is not yet a definitive answer to this question. There are many potential causes of tinnitus, and each person likely experiences the condition differently. This makes it challenging to develop a one-size-fits-all treatment.

How Does a Hearing Aid Help with Managing Tinnitus?

Hearing aids are the most common treatment for tinnitus. They work by amplifying quiet sounds and helping you focus on external noises, reducing the perception of ringing or other sounds in your ears. Hearing aids can be beneficial for people with severe tinnitus, as they can help to drown out the noise and improve their quality of life.

If you are experiencing tinnitus symptoms, it is essential to consult with your hearing instrument specialist. They will be able to recommend the best course of treatment for you. In some cases, hearing aids may be all that is needed to manage your symptoms. However, in more severe cases, additional treatments may be required. However, with proper care and management, tinnitus can be a manageable condition.

If you feel you need more information or you're struggling with constant symptoms of tinnitus, feel free to call Niagara Hearing and Speech Clinic at (855) 797-8002.