Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

Man with incessant ringing in the ears holding his head.

Let’s set the scene: you’re lying in bed at night trying to relax after a long, exhausting day. Your eyelids are getting heavy and you know that sleep is right around the corner. Then as you lie there in the quiet of the night, you begin to notice the sound of buzzing in your ears. You know it’s nothing in your room because the TV, radio, and phone have all been turned off. Unfortunately, this sound is in your ears and it won’t go away.

If this scenario sounds familiar, then it’s likely that you’re one of the 50 million people that suffer from tinnitus. Ringing, Buzzing, and various other sounds will be heard in your ears when you have this condition. For most people, tinnitus will not have a substantial impact on their lives beyond being a simple annoyance. But this is not the situation with everyone who suffers from tinnitus. For some, it can cause them to lose sleep, to disengage socially, and to have a hard time working.

What’s The Main Cause of Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is still a bit of a mystery, but this condition has been narrowed down to a few causes. It’s most prevalent in individuals who have damaged hearing, and also people who have heart conditions. Restricted blood flow around the ears is generally thought to be the main cause of tinnitus. This causes the heart to have to work harder to pump blood to where it’s needed. People who have iron-deficiency anemia commonly experience tinnitus symptoms because their blood cells don’t carry enough oxygen throughout their body, which, again, makes the heart work overtime to get oxygen and other nutrients where they need to go.

Tinnitus also happens as a symptom of other conditions, such as Meniere’s disease, ear infections, and ear canal blockages. Situations where tinnitus becomes more pronounced happen with all of these condition because they all affect the hearing. In other situations, there may not be an easily discernible cause of tinnitus, which can make treatment difficult, but not impossible.

How Can Tinnitus be Managed?

Depending on the root cause of your tinnitus, there may be several possible treatment choices. One significant thing to take note of, however, is that there is presently no known cure for tinnitus. In spite of this fact, there’s still a good possibility that your tinnitus will improve or even vanish completely due to these treatments.

Research has revealed that hearing aids help mask tinnitus in people who suffer from hearing loss.

If covering up the noise isn’t helpful, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to help people live with the buzzing in their ears that doesn’t fade away with other treatments. This type of mental health therapy helps people turn their negative feelings about tinnitus into more positive, practical thoughts that will help them function normally on a day to day basis.

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