Figuring out how to live with tinnitus is often how you manage it. To help tune it out you leave the television on. And loud music at bars is making your tinnitus worse so you stay away from going dancing. You’re regularly trying new solutions and strategies with your specialist. Eventually, your tinnitus simply becomes something you fold into your daily life.
Tinnitus doesn’t have a cure so you feel powerless. But that might be changing. New research published in PLOS Biology indicates that an effective and permanent cure for tinnitus could be coming soon.
Causes of Tinnitus
You’re suffering from tinnitus if you hear a ringing or buzzing (or in some cases other noises) with no objective cause. A condition that affects over 50 million people in the United States alone, it’s very 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 result of some root concern. One reason why a “cure” for tinnitus is evasive is that these underlying causes can be challenging to narrow down. There are various possible causes for tinnitus symptoms.
It is true, most people connect tinnitus to hearing loss of some kind, but even that link is uncertain. There is some connection but there are some people who have tinnitus and don’t have any hearing loss.
Inflammation: a New Culprit
The new research published in PLOS Biology outlined a study lead by Dr. Shaowen Bao, an associate professor of physiology at the Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscon. Dr. Bao performed experiments on mice who had tinnitus triggered by noise-induced hearing loss. And a new culprit for tinnitus was uncovered by her and her team: inflammation.
Inflammation was found around the brain centers responsible for hearing when scans were performed on these mice. These tests reveal that noise-induced hearing loss is producing some unidentified injury because inflammation is the body’s response to damage.
But a new kind of approach is also opened up by these results. Because dealing with inflammation is something we know how to do (generally). The tinnitus symptoms disappear when the mice were treated for inflammation. Or, at a minimum, those symptoms weren’t observable any longer
So is There a Pill to Treat Tinnitus?
One day there will probably be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine that–rather than investing in these various coping elements, you can just take a pill in the morning and keep your tinnitus under control.
There are a few obstacles but that is certainly the goal:
- First, these experiments were done on mice. This approach isn’t approved yet for humans and it may be quite some time before it is.
- There are several causes for tinnitus; Whether any specific types of tinnitus are connected to inflammation is still unclear.
- Any new approach needs to be proven safe; these inflammation blocking medications might have dangerous side effects that could take some time to identify.
So it could be pretty far off before we have a pill for tinnitus. But at least it’s now feasible. That should bring anyone who has tinnitus considerable hope. And other techniques are also being researched. That cure gets closer and closer with every bit of knowledge and every new discovery.
What Can You do Today?
If you have a continual buzzing or ringing in your ears now, the potential of a far off pill might give you hope – but not necessarily relief. There are modern therapies for tinnitus that can deliver real results, even if they don’t really “cure” the underlying issue.
Being able to tune out or ignore tinnitus noises, sometimes using noise canceling headphones or cognitive therapies is what modern techniques are aiming to do. A cure might be a number of years away, 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 enjoy is the reason why you should let us help you find a therapy that works for you. Get in touch with us for a consultation now.