You learn to adapt to living with tinnitus. You always keep the television on to help you tune out the persistent ringing. The loud music at happy hour makes your tinnitus much worse so you refrain from going out with your coworkers. You make appointments routinely to try out new therapies and new techniques. Ultimately, your tinnitus just becomes something you integrate into your day-to-day life.
Mostly, that’s because there isn’t a cure for tinnitus. But that may be changing. We may be getting close to a reliable and lasting cure for tinnitus according to research published in PLOS biology. For now, hearing aids can really help.
Tinnitus Has a Cloudy Set of Causes
Somebody who is coping with tinnitus will hear a ringing or buzzing (or other sounds) that don’t have an external source. Tinnitus is quite common and millions of people cope with it to some degree.
It’s also a symptom, broadly speaking, and not itself a cause. Tinnitus is generally caused by something else. One reason why a “cure” for tinnitus is elusive is that these root causes can be hard to narrow down. There are several reasons why tinnitus can develop.
Even the relationship between tinnitus and hearing loss is murky. Some people who have tinnitus do have hearing loss but some don’t.
A New Culprit: Inflammation
Dr. Shaowen Bao, an associate professor at the Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, led a study published in PLOS Biology. Mice who had noise-related tinnitus were experimented on by Dr. Bao. And what she and her team discovered indicates a tinnitus culprit: inflammation.
According to the tests and scans done on these mice, inflammation was discovered in the areas of the brain responsible for hearing. As inflammation is the body’s response to damage, this finding does indicate that noise-induced hearing loss could be causing some damage we don’t fully understand as yet.
But new kinds of treatment are also made possible by this knowledge of inflammation. Because inflammation is something we know how to address. The symptoms of tinnitus cleared up when the mice were given drugs that impeded inflammation. Or it became impossible to observe any symptoms, at least.
So is There a Magic Pill That Cures Tinnitus?
If you take a long enough look, you can most likely look at this research and see how, eventually, there may easily be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine that, instead of investing in these numerous coping mechanisms, you can just pop a pill in the morning and keep your tinnitus at bay.
We could get there if we can tackle a few hurdles:
- We need to be certain any new strategy is safe; it may take some time to determine particular side effects, complications, or issues connected to these particular inflammation-blocking medicines.
- The exact cause of tinnitus will be distinct from one individual to another; whether all or even most cases of tinnitus are linked to some sort of inflammation is still difficult to identify.
- First, these experiments were carried out on mice. Before this strategy is considered safe for people, there’s still a substantial amount of work to do.
So, a pill for tinnitus may be a long way off. But it’s a real possibility in the future. That’s significant hope for your tinnitus down the road. And numerous other tinnitus treatments are also being studied. The cure for tinnitus gets closer and closer with every development and every bit of new knowledge.
What Can You do Today?
For now, individuals who suffered from tinnitus should feel optimistic that in the future there will be a cure for tinnitus. Even though we don’t have a cure for tinnitus, there are some contemporary treatments that can produce real benefits.
Some strategies include noise-cancellation devices or cognitive therapies designed to help you ignore the sounds related to your tinnitus. Hearing aids frequently offer relief for many individuals. A cure may be many years off, but that doesn’t mean you have to deal with tinnitus by yourself or unassisted. Obtaining a treatment that works can help you spend more time doing things you love, and less time focusing on that buzzing or ringing in your ears.