New Investigations Into What Causes Tinnitus
Learning to cope with tinnitus is often how you manage it. You keep the television on to help you tune the constant ringing out. You skip going dancing because the loud music at the bar makes your tinnitus worse for days after. You consult with experts constantly to try out new therapies and new techniques. You just fold tinnitus into your daily life eventually.
Mainly, that’s because there isn’t any cure for tinnitus. But that might be changing. New research published in PLOS Biology suggests that an effective and permanent cure for tinnitus may be coming.
Causes of Tinnitus
You’re suffering from tinnitus if you hear a ringing or buzzing (or sometimes other sounds) with no apparent cause. A problem that impacts over 50 million people in the United States alone, it’s remarkably common for people to suffer from tinnitus.
It’s also a symptom, generally speaking, and not a cause in and of itself. Simply put, tinnitus is triggered by something else – tinnitus symptoms are the outcome of some underlying concern. One reason why a “cure” for tinnitus is elusive is that these root causes can be hard to narrow down. Tinnitus symptoms can manifest due to a number of reasons.
Even the relationship between tinnitus and loss of hearing is not clear although most people connect the two. There is some relationship but some people have tinnitus and don’t have any hearing loss.
A New Culprit: Inflammation
Dr. Shaowen Bao, who is associate professor of physiology at Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscon has recently released research. Dr. Bao performed experiments on mice who had tinnitus induced by noise-induced loss of hearing. And a new culprit for tinnitus was uncovered by her and her team: inflammation.
Based on the tests and scans carried out on these mice, inflammation was observed in the parts of the brain in control of listening. These Scans indicate 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 form of therapy. Because handling inflammation is something we know how to do (generally). The tinnitus symptoms disappear when the mice were treated for inflammation. Or, at least, those symptoms weren’t observable any longer
Does This Mean There’s a Pill to Treat Tinnitus?
One day there will probably be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine that–instead of investing in these various coping elements, you can just pop a pill in the morning and keep your tinnitus at bay.
That’s definitely the goal, but there are many huge obstacles in the way:
- There are a number of causes for tinnitus; Whether any specific forms of tinnitus are associated with inflammation is still not certain.
- We still have to prove if any new method is safe; it may take some time to identify specific side effects, complications, or challenges related to these specific medications that block inflammation.
- These experiments were performed first on mice. And it will be a while before this particular approach is safe and approved for humans.
So, a pill for tinnitus might be a long way off. But at least it’s now possible. That should give anybody who has tinnitus significant hope. And, obviously, this strategy in managing tinnitus is not the only one presently being researched. That cure gets closer with every bit of practical knowledge and every new discovery.
Ca Anything be Done Now?
If you have a chronic ringing or buzzing in your ears now, the potential of a far off pill may provide you with hope – but not necessarily relief. Modern treatments may not “cure” your tinnitus but they do give real results.
Some methods include noise-cancellation units or cognitive therapies created to help you brush aside the sounds related to your tinnitus. A cure could be a number of years off, but that doesn’t mean you should deal with tinnitus alone or unaided. Spending less time stressing about the buzzing or ringing in your ears and more time doing what you love 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 right away.