As with many chronic conditions, there’s a mental health component to tinnitus. Dealing with the symptoms isn’t the only difficulty. It’s finding the inner strength and resilience to do it regularly without knowing whether they will ever go away once and for all. Unfortunately, for some, tinnitus can cause depression.
Chronic tinnitus has been associated with a higher rate of suicide, particularly among women, according to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association and carried out by Stockholm Public Health Cohort (SPHC).
Tinnitus And Suicide, What’s The Connection?
In order to establish any type of link between tinnitus and suicide, researchers at the SPHC surveyed around 70,000 people (bigger sample sizes are needed to generate dependable, scientific results).
According to the answers they received:
- Tinnitus symptoms were reported by 22.5% of participants.
- Suicide attempts happened with 9% of women with significant tinnitus.
- 5.5% of men with severe tinnitus had suicide attempts.
- Only 2.1% of participants documented that their tinnitus had been diagnosed by a hearing professional.
It’s clear that women with tinnitus have a higher instance of suicide and researchers are trying to raise awareness for them. And most people with tinnitus symptoms, according to this research, don’t get their tinnitus diagnosed by a hearing specialist. Many people can get relief by using hearing aids and other therapies.
Are These Universal Findings?
Before any broad generalizations can be made, this study needs to be duplicated in different areas of the world with different variables and population sizes. That said, we shouldn’t disregard the problem in the meantime.
What’s The Underlying Meaning of This Research?
The study was inconclusive about why women had an increased suicide rate than men but that was certainly the result. There are various reasons why this could be but the data doesn’t pinpoint any one reason why this might be.
Some things to take note of:
Some Tinnitus is Not “Severe”
Most individuals who experience tinnitus symptoms don’t have “severe” tinnitus. Moderate cases also have their own challenges, of course. But the suicide risk for women was significantly more marked for women who reported “severe” tinnitus symptoms.
Most of The Participants Weren’t Diagnosed
Possibly the next most startling conclusion in this research is that fairly few individuals were officially diagnosed with tinnitus, even though they displayed moderate to severe symptoms.
This is, perhaps, the most significant area of possibility and one of the best ways to lower suicide or other health concerns simultaneously. Here are a few of the numerous advantages that can come from tinnitus treatment:
- Tinnitus symptoms can be more effectively controlled with treatment.
- Tinnitus is commonly a sign of hearing impairment, which can (and should) be treated.
- Depression is often improved with tinnitus treatment.
Tinnitus And Hearing Impairment
It’s estimated that 90 percent of people with tinnitus have hearing loss, and studies indicate that hearing aids help manage the symptoms of tinnitus. Some hearing aids, in fact, actually come with features that target the symptoms of tinnitus. To find out if hearing aids can help you, set up an appointment.