When you have tinnitus, you learn to cope with it. You leave 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 always trying new treatments and techniques with your specialist. You simply work tinnitus into your everyday life after a while.
For the most part, that’s because there’s no cure for tinnitus. Changes might be coming, however. New research published in PLOS Biology seems to offer promise that we might 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 at times other noises) with no apparent cause. A condition that affects over 50 million people in the United States alone, it’s incredibly common for people to have tinnitus.
It’s also a symptom, generally speaking, and not a cause unto itself. In other words, something triggers tinnitus – tinnitus symptoms are the outcome of some underlying problem. One of the reasons why a “cure” for tinnitus is elusive is that these root causes can be challenging to pin down. Tinnitus symptoms can occur due to numerous reasons.
It is true, the majority of people attribute tinnitus to loss of hearing of some type, but even that relationship is not clear. There is some connection but some people have tinnitus and don’t have any hearing loss.
Inflammation: a New Culprit
Dr. Shaowen Bao, who is associate professor of physiology at Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscon has recently released research. Mice that had tinnitus brought about by noise induced loss of hearing were experimented on by Dr. Bao. And a new culprit for tinnitus was discovered by her and her team: inflammation.
According to the tests and scans done on these mice, inflammation was found around the parts of the brain in control of listening. These tests indicate that noise-induced hearing loss is causing some unidentified damage because inflammation is the body’s reaction to damage.
But a new form of treatment is also made available by these discoveries. Because we understand (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 to Treat Tinnitus?
One day there will likely be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine if keeping your tinnitus under control was a simple matter of taking your morning medicine and you could escape from all of the coping mechanisms you have to do now.
There are some obstacles but that is certainly the goal:
- We still have to prove if any new approach is safe; these inflammation blocking medications may have harmful side effects that could take some time to identify.
- First off, these experiments were performed on mice. And it will be a while before this particular method is safe and approved for humans.
- Not everybody’s tinnitus will be caused the same way; Which particular types of tinnitus are associated with inflammation is still unclear.
So it could be pretty far off before we have a pill for tinnitus. But it isn’t impossible. That should offer anybody who has tinnitus significant hope. And other solutions are also being researched. Every new finding, every new bit of knowledge, brings that cure for tinnitus just a bit nearer.
Ca Anything be Done Now?
If you have a persistent ringing or buzzing in your ears today, the promise of a far off pill could provide you with hope – but probably not relief. Modern treatments may not “cure” your tinnitus but they do provide real results.
Being able to tune out or ignore tinnitus noises, sometimes employing noise canceling headphones or cognitive therapies is what modern methods are trying to do. You don’t have to wait for a cure to get relief, you can get help dealing with your tinnitus now. Spending less time stressing 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 discover a treatment that works for you. Get in touch with us for a consultation today.