Figuring out how 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 consult with experts frequently to try out new solutions and new strategies. You simply fold tinnitus into your everyday life eventually.
Mostly, that’s because there isn’t any cure for tinnitus. But that might be changing. New research published in PLOS Biology seems to provide promise that we could be getting closer to a permanent and effective cure for tinnitus.
You’re dealing with tinnitus if you hear a ringing or buzzing (or at times other sounds) with no apparent cause. A condition that affects over 50 million people in the United States alone, it’s remarkably common for people to suffer from tinnitus.
And it isn’t a cause itself but an indication of some other problem. Simply put, something triggers tinnitus – there’s a root problem that brings about tinnitus symptoms. One reason why a “cure” for tinnitus is evasive is that these underlying causes can be difficult to narrow down. Tinnitus symptoms can occur due to numerous reasons.
Even the relationship between tinnitus and hearing loss is unclear even though the majority of people connect the two. There’s a relationship, certainly, 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 highlighted 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 a new culprit for tinnitus was uncovered by her and her team: inflammation.
Based on the tests and scans done on these mice, inflammation was observed around the parts of the brain responsible for hearing. These tests reveal that noise-induced hearing loss is contributing to some unidentified damage because inflammation is the body’s response to damage.
But this finding of inflammation also leads to the opportunity for a new kind of therapy. Because we understand (generally speaking) how to deal with inflammation. When the mice were given medication that impeded the observed inflammation response, the symptoms of tinnitus disappeared. 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 likely be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine that–rather than counting on these various coping elements, you can just take a pill in the morning and keep your tinnitus under control.
There are a few hurdles but that is certainly the goal:
- All new approaches need to be proven safe; these inflammation blocking medications might have dangerous side effects that could take some time to identify.
- These experiments were first performed on mice. This strategy is not approved yet for people and it might be a while before that happens.
- There are various causes for tinnitus; it’s hard to know (for now) whether all or even most tinnitus is related to inflammation of some kind.
So, a pill to treat tinnitus might be pretty far off. But at least it’s now feasible. That should offer anybody who has tinnitus considerable hope. And, obviously, this strategy in managing tinnitus is not the only one presently being studied. That cure gets closer with every bit of knowledge and every new discovery.
What Can You do Today?
You could have hope for an eventual tinnitus pill but that won’t give you any comfort for your prolonged buzzing or ringing now. Modern treatments may not “cure” your tinnitus but they do provide real results.
Some strategies include noise-cancellation units or cognitive therapies manufactured to help you brush aside the sounds connected to your tinnitus. A cure may be several years off, but that doesn’t mean you have to deal with tinnitus on your own or unassisted. Spending less time being stressed 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 find a therapy that works for you. Schedule your appointment today.